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Tanker overturns on Cornelius Pass Road

Road closed between Highway 30, Skyline Boulevard; up to 2,000 gallons of cooking oil mixture spilled

COURTESY OF TVF&R - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews contained a spill of nearly 2,000 gallons of reclaimed cooking oil Friday, March 13, that closed Northwest Cornelius Pass Road for several hours.A tanker trailer overturned on Northwest Cornelius Pass Road at about 11:45 a.m. Friday, March 13, according to a Multnomah County spokesman.

Mike Pullen said the road was closed between Highway 30 and Northwest Skyline Boulevard after the turnover, which occurred just north of the Skyline Boulevard intersection on a section of road known as the tunnel or “S” curves.

The tanker spilled as much as 2,000 gallons of a reclaimed cooking oil mixture, said Cassandra Ulven, a spokeswoman for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue who responded to the scene. The truck cab hauling the trailer remained upright, and the driver was unhurt, she said.

“The truck was traveling uphill, and on a curve, unfortunately, his trailer overturned,” said Ulven, adding, “Because it was going uphill, a lot of that oil traveled downhill and down a nearby embankment.”

TVF&R crews prevented the oil from spilling into a nearby waterway, Ulven added.

The spilled material was originally reported to be raw sewage, based on its odor, Pullen said.

Ulven described the smell as “disgusting.”

“Depending on the wind direction, you can smell it for a couple hundred feet,” she said.

The road remained closed until about 7:30 p.m. Friday, while a cleanup company mopped up the spill and made the roadway safe for drivers.

“It's one thing when you have just a vehicle turnover,” Pullen remarked.

Alternative routes through the West Hills include Northwest Rocky Point, Germantown, Newberry and Cornell roads, as well as Highway 26 for trucks and Highway 217 for vehicles with hazardous cargo.

Editor's note: This story has been updated.