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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Oxygen Truck Crash Shuts Down Viola Traffic

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An oxygen truck which crashed and overturned shut down traffic for more than two hours on Monday, Nov. 26 on Highway 62-412 in Viola.
"It was a scary deal," is how Viola resident and business owner Nathan Burch described a Monday, Nov. 26, crash on Highway 62-412, which involved more than a routine accident clean up.

"The truck was going down the hill by the (Viola) post office when it went out of control and overturned," Burch said. "It looks like it slid on its side until it hit my driveway culvert and landed in the ditch."

The truck was a medical supply truck containing a large shipment of oxygen containers. The accident scattered the containers all over the road, and many were ruptured and spewing their contents into the air.

The Viola Fire Department was notified of the crash about 1:30 p.m. and, since oxygen under pressure was involved, it call the Salem Fire Department hazardous materials team for assistance.

With the help of law enforcement, Highway 62-412 was shut down, and traffic routed around the accident.

The accident was especially scary to David Burch because the truck ended up in front of his house, and across the street from his business, the Viola Kiddie Corral daycare center.

"They told us to keep the kids inside, but they did not order an evacuation," Burch said. "A lot of parents came and got their kids when they heard about the situation, but we were all ok."

According to Burch, the driver of the 10-wheeler truck was injured, but was conscious and talking to police before being transported to the Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home.

While oxygen is flammable, fire department crews were able to clear the scene with no major problems. The highway was closed for more than two hours before being reopened to traffic around 4 p.m.

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