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MIDLAND COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -
Eight Mile Road in Midland County is back open and residents returned to their homes after an overturned propane tanker forced an evacuation and road closure Tuesday morning.
The incident happened around 9 a.m. on Eight Mile Road on the corner of Stewart Road.
A tanker truck carrying propane collided with a pickup truck and went into a ditch, which caused the tanker to expel propane gas. Midland County Sheriff's officials determined that enough gas had escaped the tanker to force the evacuation.
Officials evacuated a hand full of homes in the area and those affected were being housed at Floyd Church of God, about a half-mile north of where the incident took place.
Officials say residents who were evacuated were allowed to return to their homes around 3:45 p.m. The road reopened to traffic around 1 p.m.
Floyd Richardson and his wife Lillian were sitting in their home near the intersection of Eight mile and Stewart roads in Midland County on Tuesday morning. Floyd was sitting at his kitchen table where, "I looked out, and I [saw] a Blue Gas truck go by. And then I watched the gas truck hit the lady in the black pickup. He slid, and he slid right into her, and it was almost a head–on," said Richardson.
Richardson says the tanker truck rolled into a ditch. He said he saw a couple of children and a woman in the pickup truck, and they didn't seem seriously hurt, but he said it was obvious that the tanker truck driver was injured.
He said both vehicles were traveling at a high rate of speed. "That guy in that gas truck was doing about 60, she was coming the other way doing probably 55," said Richardson.
Richardson said he wasn't concerned about his safety, and didn't mind when sheriff's deputies asked him and his wife to leave their house due to the propane leaking from the truck. They joined some of their neighbors at a nearby church.
As Richardson and his wife reflect in the church, he says he hopes he never sees an accident like this again. "That truck went up about six foot straight in the air," said Richardson. Richardson added that the local fire department did a tremendous job of responding to the accident in quick amount of time.
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