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[cdn-nucl-l] Pickup hits nuclear waste truck
Posted in the Roswell Record on August 27, 2002 and at:
Didn't cause a dent.
Pickup hits nuclear waste truck
CARLSBAD (AP) - A truck carrying nuclear waste from Idaho to the federal
government's waste dump near Carlsbad was hit by a pickup truck that
caught on fire.
Officials said no one was seriously injured and there was no leak of
''There was absolutely nothing wrong with the transport containers at
all,'' said Kerry Watson, assistant manager for the waste program at the
Department of Energy's Carlsbad field office.
The truck was bound for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad
with two shipping containers from the Idaho National Engineering and
Environmental Laboratory, he said Monday. It was about 42 miles from
WIPP when the crash occurred at 1:50 a.m. Sunday on U.S. 62-180 on the
north side of Carlsbad.
State police said the driver of the pickup, 19-year-old Israel Alvidrez
of Seminole, Texas, was charged with drunken driving and driving without
a license. He was being held at the Eddy County jail on a $1,750 bond.
The WIPP transport driver, who works for Colorado-based CAST
Transportation, was in the right lane when he noticed a vehicle coming
up behind the WIPP truck ''fairly quickly,'' Watson said. The driver
tried to move to the shoulder to get out of the way, but the pickup
struck the transport truck's left rear, he said.
The crash bent the corner of the trailer's heavy, square-tubing bumper,
cut the outside left rear tire and damaged the fender, Watson said.
The pickup caught on fire in the median of the road, but Watson said the
WIPP truck had pulled over about 100 yards away and the flames never
came near it.
The WIPP drivers - Jerry Hanway and his wife and co-driver, Rita Hanway
- were not injured, Watson said.
Alvidrez was transported to Carlsbad Medical Center, where he was
treated for minor injuries and released, police said.
The Hanways called 911 and WIPP's central monitoring room after the
crash and authorities arrived within minutes.
State police did a comprehensive safety and mechanical check of the WIPP
truck and surveyed it for radioactivity. They determined the only
problem was the flat tire, and after it was repaired, state police
cleared the truck to go on to WIPP, Watson said.
''State police escorted the vehicle, and I think that was as much out of
courtesy as anything else,'' he said.
Watson said the accident, three miles outside Carlsbad, was the first in
1,144 shipments to WIPP.
''It's ironic when you think about it - the first time we have an
accident it's here,'' he said.