Two Oxnard city employees were hospitalized after their work vehicle crashed into a tree Wednesday, causing about five gallons of herbicide to spill into a drainage canal.
The chemical, a diluted form of the Round-Up brand of weed killer, is highly potent when concentrated.
The lunchtime spill occurred near a canal along Channel Islands Boulevard in Port Hueneme, but hazardous waste units from the Ventura County and Oxnard fire departments determined there was no danger to the water supply, officials said.
"It was a very small amount and it was [further] diluted in the water," said Tracy Valencia, spokeswoman for the Ventura County Fire Department. "It was determined not to be a hazard."
The two Oxnard Parks Department employees, Rogelio Jimenez and Petunia Rodriguez, were transported to St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard.
Rodriguez was in serious condition in the intensive care unit with a broken right leg, a dislocated right hand and numerous cuts and bruises to her left leg and chest; Jimenez was in fair condition with a broken left hand and right kneecap and several cuts and bruises, according to a nursing supervisor.
Jimenez was driving east on Channel Islands Boulevard at 12:43 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle, which swerved across the left lane and slammed head-on into a tree, according to Terry McAnally, the Oxnard Fire Department's battalion chief.
Rodriguez, who was in the passenger seat, was trapped in the vehicle, forcing rescue workers to use mechanical devices to free her, police said.
A 50-gallon drum of the Round-Up solution, which had already been diluted to 2% of its potency, fell from the bed of the truck and landed in the drainage canal, police said.
Hazmat workers followed the flow of orange fluid half a mile downstream where the solution completely disappeared in the canal water, McAnally said.