Driver injured when fuel tanker flips over in south KC

A tanker truck driver was in stable but critical condition Saturday after his rig scraped a guardrail and turned over on Interstate 435 in south Kansas City.

Emergency workers closed the westbound on-ramp at State Line Road for several hours as crews worked to remove fuel from the tanker truck, which was sprawled in the grassy on-ramp median.

Leawood Police Sgt. Brad Robbins said the Carter Energy truck was westbound just after 1:30 a.m., carrying a mixed load of about 5,000 gallons of gas and diesel fuel, when the truck made contact with a guardrail on the Missouri side of the state line.

The tanker then flipped into the on-ramp median, ejecting the driver. The rollover destroyed the cab, Robbins said.

First responders took the driver to a Johnson County hospital and called in environmental crews because of fears of leaking fuel. Capt. Steve Young, a Kansas City police spokesman, described the driver’s injuries as life-threatening.

Robbins said a private contractor drilled holes in the tanker and finished removing fuel about 8 a.m. Some fuel leaked, but Robbins said he did not know how much.