UPDATED: A tire blowout is to blame for the crash that caused a tractor trailer truck carrying hot asphalt to overturn on southbound Interstate 15 in Lake Elsinore this morning, a spokesman with the California Highway Patrol is reporting.
The crash was reported at approximately 7:20 a.m., just north of Central, according to California Highway Patrol officer Travis Monks.
The adult male truck driver was traveling in the #3 lane at an unknown speed when he experienced the blowout on his rig, Monks explained. The incident caused him to crash into the center divide and overturn. During the crash, a load of hot asphalt and approximately 50 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled onto the roadway, Monks continued.
The driver, whose identity has not been released, was transported to an area hospital with unknown injuries.
All lanes on the southbound 15 are blocked at press time and a SigAlert issued; Monks expects lanes to open at approximately 11 a.m. today. Traffic is being diverted onto Nichols Road and the freeway shoulder.
Caltrans has been on scene mopping up the asphalt, and Monks said Double Barrel Environmental Services -- a hazardous materials cleanup company -- was contacted by the driver's company to mop up the fuel spill.
Monks said drivers who experience blowouts should remember these safety tips: Do not brake but do take your foot off the gas pedal, do not overcorrect the steering and instead try to keep the vehicle straight, and pull over to the right shoulder when safe. --Daniel Lane contributed to this report.