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Propane tanker overturns, kills one

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

A one-vehicle accident on Highway 183 north of Lockhart on Thursday afternoon killed one and kept the highway shut down for several hours.
According to Lockhart Fire Marshal Mark Baker, the call came in around 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon that an accident had occurred on Highway 183 and an overturned semi truck was invol

ved.
Upon arriving on the scene, officials discovered that the overturned truck was a propane transport tanker.
Almost immediately, Highway 183 was closed in both directions and traffic diverted several miles around the wreck. In addition, the employees and students at Just Bee Kidz day care and the Assembly of God Church were evacuated to the Lytton Springs Volunteer Fire Department station. Officials feared that the tanker, though not punctured or leaking immediately after the accident, could begin leaking and cause an even more dangerous situation.
“The Lockhart Police Department and Department of Public Safety (DPS) handled the investigation,” Baker said. The fire department was on the scene to provide rescue tools and assistance and to stand by in case of a propane leak or explosion.
Lockhart”s Interim Chief of Police Ray Sanders said the truck”s driver was killed in the accident, and because of that, DPS was in charge of the investigation and accident reconstruction.
“A lot of what our people were doing was traffic control,” Sanders said Wednesday morning. “I believe that one of our investigators has been in contact with the [propane company] and possibly the driver”s family, but DPS hasn”t given us a reconstruction report yet.”
Lt. Chris Knudsen, who was on the scene for most of the day, said that neither speed nor other traffic played a part in the accident, as far as he could see.
“Of course, we don”t have the DPS reconstruction report back but it looks like he might have gone off into the shoulder, and possibly overcorrected coming back on to the road,” Knudsen said. “From what we can gather, the truck rolled two-and-a-half times and the driver was ejected.”
The driver, R.C. Allen of Leander, died at the scene, witnesses said.
At around 5 p.m., a second tanker truck arrived on the scene to drain the wrecked vehicle so that it could be removed from the roadway. The “offloading” took almost five hours, according to Baker, and the highway was reopened around 11 p.m. on Thursday.
Police said that representatives from L&L Transportation, LLC of Warterloo, Indiana, have been to the scene to investigate the accident. L&L is the company for whom Allen was hauling the propane.

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