Monday, 17 June 2024

Highway 20 reopens early Wednesday following crash, hazmat operation

A fuel spill that resulted when a semi truck went into Cache Creek following a collision on Tuesday, August 25, 2009, resulted in a portion of Highway 20 being shut down for several hours. Photo by Georgia Hughes.



CLEARLAKE OAKS – A stretch of Highway 20 reopened just after midnight Wednesday after officials spent hours dealing with a hazmat issue that resulted from a crash.

The collision that triggered the closure occurred just before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 20 at mile post marker 35, east of Clearlake Oaks.

The California Highway Patrol reported from the scene that an RV's hood had popped open while it was going down the highway, causing it to pull over. A tractor trailer carrying pears swerved, hit the RV from the rear and then also hit three other vehicles.

The Button Transportation semi went into Cache Creek as a result of the collision, coming to a rest on its side.

Several people were injured in the crash, with some of the victims suffering major injuries, according to the CHP. The truck driver was reported to be uninjured.

A short time after the crash Caltrans closed the highway between Highway 16 and Highway 53 as emergency medical personnel arrived.

Two REACH air ambulances transported two crash victims from the scene to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

With the truck in the creek, concerns about a fuel spill resulted in a call for hazardous materials cleanup. State Fish and Game and Lake County Environmental Health subsequently joined the effort.

About an hour after the crash officials were looking at putting a dike in Cache Creek to divert the spill. A request also reportedly was made to Yolo County to reduce the flow of water through the creek in an effort to contain the truck's fuel.

Two big rig tow truck were tasked with pulling the truck and its two trailers from the creek, an operation it completed shortly before 9:30 p.m.

With the truck out of the creek, Caltrans was able to finish roadway cleanup. Willits Tow is to repair approximately 100 feet of guard rail damaged by the wreck, the CHP reported.

The CHP noted that the highway reopened at approximately 12:07 a.m. Wednesday.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at .

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