I-181 chemical truck accident blocks entrance ramp

By Kathy Helms-Hughes
STAR STAFF
khughes@starhq.com

   A truck driver hauling liquid nitrogen from Air Products on Jared Drive in Kingsport was injured Wednesday morning when he lost control of the truck he was driving and overturned on the entrance ramp to Interstate 181 from Wilcox Drive, closing the ramp for nearly five hours.
   Dennis C. Templeton, 57, of Hiltons, Va., received head and chest injuries and was transported to Holston Valley Hospital where he was taken immediately into surgery.
   According to Kingsport Police, Templeton, driver of a 1998 Freightliner owned by Logistics Express Inc. of Orange County, Calif., was traveling south on Sullivan Gardens Parkway around 10:30 a.m. when he attempted to turn north onto the entrance ramp to I-181.
   Police say Templeton was traveling too fast for the wet road conditions and lost control. The truck slid sideways and rolled onto its side, pinning Templeton in the driver's seat.
   Members of Kingsport Fire Department removed the top of the cab to free Templeton. Kingsport Fire Department's HazMat team contained the scene and the roadway was reopened around 3 p.m. Charges are pending.
   Wednesday's chemical accident was the second this week for Kingsport. Around 1:30 a.m. Monday, two rail cars jumped the CSX tracks and caused several thousand gallons of chemicals to spill near the city's wastewater treatment plant.
   One rail car was empty, however, the second contained about 24,000 gallons of liquid plasticizer from Eastman Chemical Co., half of which spilled.
   Though some of the product did make it to the wastewater plant, it did not enter the water system.