JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – All lanes of Interstate 10 eastbound traffic of Interstate 295 were closed about 11 a.m. as Jacksonville firefighters dealt with an overturned tanker-trailer carrying what they believed was a load of a hazardous gas.
News4Jax was told the rig was leaking only oil, but Jacksonville Fire-Rescue was proceeding cautiously because the vehicles hazardous materials signage said the tanker was full of hexene, a colorless gas that is considered highly flammable.
It was later determined that the tanker's placard was mislabeled. The driver, Mitchell Hargroder, was hauling detergent and not hexene, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Troopers said Hargroder suffered serious injuries. He was taken to UF Health Jacksonville.
At least a dozen Jacksonville Fire-Rescue units were called to the scene, including its hazardous materials team. News4Jax was told that another tanker would be brought in to offload the gas, but once firefighters determined the tanker was full of a cleaning product, that will not be necessary.
Just after noon, two of three eastbound lanes were reopened, although the exit to I-295 remained closed to traffic until the tanker was righted and the scene cleared. The exit ramp reopened just before 5 p.m.