BILLERICA — Route 3 in North Billerica remained shut down in both directions into Wednesday night after a fuel truck rolled over in the northbound lane in a multivehicle crash near the Treble Cove Road exit around 10 a.m., resulting in thousands of gallons of fuel being spilled on the highway, according to the Massachusetts State Police.
The incident snarled traffic in the area throughout the day as hazmat crews, firefighters and State Police troopers worked on the scene of the crash. Footage from local TV stations showed the area immediately around the tanker covered with foam used to contain the fuel.
In a post on the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, at 12:18 p.m., State Police said the driver of the tanker and driver of one of the other vehicles involved in the crash sustained minor injuries. The crash also involved a 2022 GMC Sierra pickup truck and a 2022 Tesla Model Y SUV, State Police said on X at 1:14 p.m., adding that there was no estimated time for lanes to reopen.
“Lane closures remain in place for the foreseeable future,” State Police posted.
Billerica Police Chief Roy Frost said in a phone call Wednesday afternoon that his officers immediately responded to the crash by shutting down construction details along Route 3A in anticipation of a larger volume of traffic coming off Concord Road, while also bringing in additional personnel for the shift.
“We have been working with the [Department of Public Works] and Fire Department to respond to the scene and set up the appropriate details,” said Frost.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, as of 12:30 p.m., the northbound lanes of Route 3 were being detoured at Exit 78, and the southbound lanes were being detoured at Exit 79. The ramps from Interstate 495 to Route 3 southbound were also closed.
“Closures on Route 3 northbound may be in place tonight into early tomorrow morning as northbound lane pavement has been damaged and needs to be repaired by MassDOT crews,” the statement from MassDOT read.
MasDOT also urged drivers traveling through the area to expect delays and find alternate routes, a warning that was repeated in an update posted on X at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.
“Update: Rt 3 remains closed. Ramp remain closed. Cleanup continues. Expect delays,” MassDOT posted.
An MSP spokesman told the Herald the “investigation is ongoing” and would not speculate on whether charges would be filed against any driver.
A dashcam video shared on social media purporting to depict the crash appears to show the Sierra veering from the middle lane into the passing lane as the Tesla was already there, shoving the latter off the road. Then there seems to be some sort of chaos in the low-resolution video before it appears that the truck moves perpendicular into the far-right lane, pushing the tanker trailer to avoid the vehicle and then tipping over.
A person who answered the phone at Performance Trans. Inc., the Fitchburg-based company whose logo appeared on the side of the tanker, said the company did not have immediate comment on the incident as it was still dealing with it and was unlikely to have a comment Wednesday.
Boston Herald reporter Flint McColgan contributed to this report.