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Roads Reopened After Two Durham Accidents

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DURHAM — Traffic has returned to normal on northern Durham roads, following two accidents, one of them fatal. US 501 reopened this morning about 10, and an area near South Lowell Drive and Hopkins Road has also been opened to motorists.

US 501 near Snow Hill Road had been closed since 11 Sunday night when a driver cut in front of a tanker truck loaded with 3,000 gallons of gasoline. The car, driven by Crystal Thomas, 19, of Oxford, was crushed and she was killed. The tanker driver was not seriously injured.

The Eagle Transport truck was headed to South Boston, Va.

A detour was set up for the Monday morning commute.

Then, about 7 a.m., a cement truck had difficulty turning along the detour route at the intersection of South Lowell and Hopkins, and wound up on its side.

That accident led troopers to work out a detour of a detour. The cement truck driver was not seriously hurt.

The tanker spilled much of its fuel load into a nearby creek, which authorities monitored. They also applied foam to keep vapors down.

David Hancock, EMS coordinator, said the gasoline had been moving into a creek that connects with the Eno River. Hancock also said traffic was stopped immediately so that no sparks would ignite the gasoline.

EPA officials believe the gasoline spill has been contained, and a private environmental clean up company is collecting as much gasoline as they can to haul away.

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Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
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