A big rig hauling over 3,000 gallons of raw sewage overturned and dumped its load during a crash Tuesday in Winchester, forcing a roadway closure while crews cleaned up the mess.
The accident happened just after 7 a.m. on Scott Road, between Leon Road and Christine Street, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The agency said a 28-year-old Aguanga man was driving the septic tanker westbound when he suffered an unknown medical emergency, lost control and veered off of Scott at a speed of 40 mph. Officer Mike Lassig said the Freightliner truck overturned on the shoulder of the two-lane corridor.
“After overturning, the tanker container split open, spilling raw sewage onto the roadway and dirt shoulder area,” Lassig said.
An estimated 3,600 gallons of the contaminant flowed out of the truck.
No other vehicles were involved.
The trucker and his 17-year-old male passenger, neither of whom was identified, suffered minor injuries in the crash, according to Lassig.
He said the driver was taken to a hospital for treatment, while the passenger declined further evaluation or care at the scene.
Riverside County Fire Department crews initiated a hazardous materials cleanup operation less than an hour later, in coordination with the county Department of Environmental Health.
The county Department of Transportation shut down Scott Road in both directions.
The cleanup was expected to continue into the early afternoon hours when the road would be reopened, Lassig said.