BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - State Route 178 was opened just after midnight on Tuesday morning after a semi truck crashed into the canyon and overturned on Monday afternoon, spilling oil and shutting down both directions of the highway.
The overturned semi spilled oil and liquid asphalt, blocking the the highway just east of Old Kern River Canyon Road, according to California Highway Patrol officials.
James J. Cummings, of Antelope Valley, was driving a Peterbuilt tanker truck eastbound on SR-178 at 30-40 mph from Bakersfield to Ridgecrest, officials said.
Cummings was east of Live Oak Campground when he drifted to the right and sideswiped a large rock on the side of the canyon. The impact caused Cummings to lose control of his vehicle, officials said.
The overturned semi blocked the entire roadway, officials said.
Cummings was hauling a load of water and asphalt oil emulsion. Due to the impact, the tank carrying the oil ruptured and spilled oil onto the roadway, officials said.
An unknown amount of oil spilled into a storm drain and down an embankment towards the river before it was contained, officials said.
The oil stopped just prior to entering the river, officials said.
Cummings received minor injures from this collision and will seek his own medical aid.
Haz Mat and Environmental Heathl were called to to scene, according to CHP reports.
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