BIRCH RUN (WWJ/AP) – A stretch of I-75 was closed for hours between Saginaw and Flint after a tanker truck hauling acrylic acid overturned.
The freeway was closed at Birch Run Road to the north and Vienna Road to the south, as well as northbound Beyer Road leading into Birch Run Premium Outlets.
The Birch Run Township Fire Department said authorities were on the scene of a car fire around 5:30 p.m. Sunday when the tanker flipped on northbound I-75 near Birch Run, about 70 miles northwest of Detroit.
The driver of the tanker told police he saw the fire truck in the roadway and felt he was unable to stop without hitting it, so he attempted to swerve to avoid a collision when the tanker overturned.
Authorities say the tanker was holding 45,000 pounds of acid, which slowly spilled onto the freeway. The situation was thought to be so serious that authorities evacuated a nearby shopping center and a local movie theater.
Police say the driver of the tanker along with members of the Birch Run Fire Department were taken to a local hospital to be treated for exposure to the hazardous material. The driver, who was not identified, was also treated for minor injuries.
Southbound I-75 reopened more than 12 hours after the crash, and the northbound lanes reopened later Monday morning, after another tanker arrived at the to transfer the acid.
Dow Chemical Co. says the tanker was carrying acrylic acid from one of its facilities to a Midland plant. Police say the driver was issued a hazardous citation.
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