I-94 reopens after tanker crash near Metro Airport

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Romulus — The scene of a tanker crash early Wednesday off Interstate 94 has been cleared after it snarled westbound airport traffic for more than 12 hours.

“It’s all cleared, all open, the ramps are open,” said Diane Cross of the Michigan Department of Transportation said of the westbound exit ramp between Middle Belt and Merriman. The crash happened around 12:45 a.m., causing fuel to leak. There was no fire or explosion.

The driver was hospitalized at Beaumont Oakwood in Dearborn, Cross said.

“(The tanker) was carrying about 7,500 gallons of gasoline,” she said earlier Wednesday. “They’re removing the fuel that’s still in the tanker, which they estimate to be about 6,000 gallons.”

Most of the remaining 1,500 gallons of leaked fuel is thought to have been absorbed into the swampy area off the expressway, requiring a HAZMAT crew to conduct a cleanup, Cross said. But some may have spilled onto Middle Belt Road, which was closed early Wednesday as a precaution.

“We fixed the guardrails that had been damaged and it looks like all the HAZMAT (in the marshy area) was taken care of,” Cross said. “Although that’s obviously something that will continue to be checked and monitored.”

The crash came about 12 hours before President Barack Obama’s arrival around noon to Detroit Metro Airport. Cross said fire officials were in contact with the Secret Service to work out any potential tweaks to the president’s travel plans into Detroit.

“They are aware of the situation and are monitoring what might be done differently,” she said earlier Wednesday morning.

It is unknown if the incident affected Obama’s travel into the city Wednesday.

Cross said the crash happened during light traffic.

“It could have been a lot worse,” she said.


(313) 223-4616