Overturned tanker shuts down Dallas High Five for most of morning

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Traffic is moving again in North Dallas after an overturned tanker shut down the High Five during a chaotic rush hour.

An 18-wheeler hit a retaining wall and tipped over on its side on the southbound Highway 75 ramp to the LBJ Freeway about 4:30 a.m. Thursday. Officials said no other vehicles were involved and no one was hurt.

But the crash happened directly over 75, so traffic in both directions was shut down between Forest Lane and Midpark Road as a precaution for hours on Thursday morning. Eastbound and westbound LBJ Freeway were also shut down and some service roads were closed.

The closures caused multi-mile backups in all directions and all secondary routes were overloaded. It was a slow commute for those who were able to get off of the highway and a nightmare for the drivers who were left stranded.

“[I] left at about 8,” Jessica Redd said, “I would say I've been stuck for almost 3 hours in traffic”

At some points people were stopped in traffic and got out of their cars. Some walked to the nearby Whataburger restaurant to get breakfast. Others found different ways to pass the time.

“One man I saw fell asleep on one of the exit ramps,” James Zimmerman said.

One man told FOX 4 he was running out of gas. He wasn’t the only one.

“I was at one bar and it turned red right before I made the exit,” Redd said. “That was the stressful part because I started seeing cars pulling over, running out of gas, people getting out of their vehicles so I thought it was going to be me.”

The High Five fully re-opened to traffic about 3 p.m., with the exception of the one flyover ramp where the incident occurred. The tanker was carrying a highly flammable substance needed to be carefully offloaded so that the truck can be righted and towed away.

At one point, firefighters could be seen spraying down town the tank to keep it cool. DFR officials said it was positioned so that it could be compromised if moved so they wanted to take every precaution.

For daily traffic updates, follow Chip Waggoner on Twitter.