Authorities in Oak Ridge shut down part of the Oak Ridge Turnpike Wednesday afternoon after the driver of a truck carrying what was labeled as radioactive material became ill.
Oak Ridge Fire and Police responded to the Turnpike near Newport Drive shortly before noon and when they arrived, noticed that the truck and its flatbed trailer were transporting hazardous waste. While crews examined the driver, they also followed procedures and evaluated the shipment to ensure it was not connected to the driver’s illness.
In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, the Oak Ridge Fire Department says that the shipment was routine and “posed no threat to the public.”
The truck was moved into the parking lot at Big Turtle Park and then escorted to its final destination, Toxco on Flint Road, by Oak Ridge Police and Fire units.
(City of Oak Ridge press release) At approximately 11:50 a.m. today, the Oak Ridge Fire Department was dispatched to a location on Oak Ridge Turnpike near Newport Road for a truck driver who was ill. Upon arrival, the fire crew saw that the tractor trailer was transporting hazardous waste, so as they evaluated the patient, they also per procedure evaluated the shipment to ensure there was no association with the truck driver’s illness.
Officials closed that section of the Oak Ridge Turnpike as a precautionary measure until the patient could be evaluated and transported to the local hospital. The truck was relocated off of the state highway to a city parking lot for additional evaluation and the highway was reopened.
This was a routine shipment and posed no threat to the public. The evaluation of the shipment was also standard operating procedure to ensure the shipment was not related to the medical problem. The shipment was escorted to the final destination in Oak Ridge by the Police and Fire Department due to the nature of the incident.
A Nixle alert message was sent out notifying of the road closure. If there had been any threat to the public, a CodeRed Emergency Notification would have been issued to the community with appropriate instructions as to what action should be taken.
No further information is available at this time.