For good reason, much is made of the damage that can be done by a semi-truck in a collision. The size and weight of these big rigs over-matches just about anything else on the road. But while the damage and injury created by the initial impact of a truck accident can be extreme, a collision may also lead to a dangerous aftermath.

Trucks sometimes pull containers which house hazardous materials. If the integrity of such a container is breached, then there is the very real possibility that those in the vicinity may be exposed to toxic or flammable materials.

Recently, in Otay Mesa, a tanker truck left the freeway, crashed through a guardrail, then ended up on an embankment. Eight thousand gallons of fuel were on board the tanker. The accident occurred near a high school. A crew of hazmat workers was summoned to the location.

Around the tanker, a safety zone was set up by the hazmat crew. This was done due to a concern that an explosion could be caused by the gas tank’s fumes. The tanker could not be moved from the site until another truck was employed to receive the fuel.

A California Highway Patrol sergeant commented on how the fire department was surprised the vehicle had not overturned. The driver of the tanker suffered minor injuries and was transported to a hospital.

Fortunately, this event did not produce catastrophic results. But the potential for genuine tragedy was there. If, instead of going off the road, the tanker had careened back into traffic, this could have been a very different story. Hopefully, an investigation will yield answers as to why this happened and necessary corrective measures will be taken to help prevent it from happening again.

The kinds of injuries that hazardous materials could cause in a truck accident could lead to extended time off from work and could even require long-term care. If you are ever injured in a truck accident, you may need to pursue compensation. A California truck accident attorney may be able to use processes, such as litigation and mediation, to help you receive compensation.