MORGAN HILL -- A tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline overturned early Thursday morning on southbound Highway 101, spilling part of its load and snarling traffic during the morning commute.
The CHP said 1,700 gallons of gas leaked onto the road and dirt shoulder, and a state Fish and Game official said some gas got into nearby Llagas Creek, although it is uncertain exactly how much.
The big-rig collided with a Nissan 350Z that spun out-of-control while traveling at 80 MPH in heavy rain and wet roadway conditions, according to the CHP.
The driver of the Nissan was traveling in the fast lane of southbound 101 south of Tennant Avenue when he lost control of the car, spun out of control and collided with a metal guardrail in the center median. After the initial impact, the Nissan careened back into southbound traffic lanes and collided with the tanker, which was in the center lane.
The tanker truck, which was pulling a trailer with a combined load of about 8,500 gallons of gasoline, lost control.
The tank truck went off the roadway and onto the shoulder, where the tanker and trailer overturned. The tanker and trailer compartments were punctured as a result of the collision and about 1,700 gallons of fuel spilled onto the shoulder and a drain bordering the west shoulder.
All lanes of southbound 101 were closed shortly after the 1 a.m. accident near San Martin Road. By shortly before 9 a.m., the fast lane was reopened and the number two lane next to it opened at 10:30 a.m. A crew worked to clean up the number three lane, the closes to the shoulder, into the afternoon.
The gas went into soil and a storm drain that leads to a canal that leads to Llagas Creek. Firefighters capped the drain and prevented some of the gas from entering the channel that leads to the creek, according to the Fish and Game Department.
"At this point we haven't seen anything," said Todd Ajari, a patrol lieutenant with the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. "We haven't noticed any impact to fish, aquatic life or birds at this time."
Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMgomez.