Crash Causes Gas Leak Near Newcastle Pet Cemetery

Friday, July 22nd 2011, 8:47 am
By: News 9

NEWCASTLE, Oklahoma -- A semi-truck ran off the road early Friday morning, striking a gas meter and sending natural gas spewing into the air.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol say it appears the truck driver briefly fell asleep around 3 a.m. and drifted off Highway 9 near Western. The truck slammed into a utility pole, sped through a grassy area, hit a gas meter and slid into a pet cemetery.

The collision broke the gas meter, causing a natural gas leak. Highway 9 was shut down for at least 45 minutes while crews repaired the leak. The truck did run over some pet graves in Pet Memorial Gardens, but the headstones were not damaged.

OHP says it didn't know about the accident for at least an hour because no one reported it. Troopers say it may have just been a miscommunication, but they plan to talk to the truck driver to determine why it took so long to notify authorities.

The truck driver was taken to Southwest Medical Center with serious injuries.