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Rt. 7 back open after gas tanker rolls over in Hoosick

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Albany/HV: Rt. 7 back open after gas tanker rolls over in Hoosick
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Route 7 in rural Rensselaer County is back open to traffic following a tanker rollover in Hoosick. We're told the driver of the tanker is in stable condition at Westchester Medical Center. Our Erin Connolly spoke with some residents who say the road where the crash happened may be too dangerous.

HOOSICK, N.Y. -- Route 7 in both directions is back open after a crash Wednesday, but not without some controversy. Some people saying the road here may be too dangerous.

This is all that's left of a tanker truck in Hoosick. Charred remains in the water and on the road. State police tell us the driver lost control of the vehicle while driving eastbound on Route 7. He hit a guide rail and a telephone pole before sliding down a 30 foot embankment into a creek. The tanker was carrying 8,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline and one thousand gallons of diesel fuel burst into flames.

Hoosick Fire Chief William Rifenburgh said, "The driver self extricated and was found by a passerby on the road and was brought to a local Stewart’s Store."

The driver was taken to Albany Med and later airlifted to the Westchester Medical Center burn unit for serious burns to his head and shoulder area. Firefighters were able to put out the fire in about an hour, but not before gasoline made it into the waterway, which leads into the Hoosick River.

Rifenburgh said, "There is still a lot of odor in the area, so crews are addressing the environmental impacts and trying to get the diesel fuel out of the creek."

And this isn't the first time. There has been a similar rollover on Route 7. In fact, in 2011, two trucks flipped over on the road in two weeks. There are mixed opinions about whether the stretch of roadway is dangerous.

Hoosick Falls resident Brian DeLuca said, "I wouldn't call it dangerous, but it’s probably the speed limits. It’s quite a common thing that happens here."

Hoosick resident Kelly Kervan said, "I'm not sure if they had enough warning or if they were new on the roads. I'd wonder that. Is there enough signage posted to let people know what's going on?"

Barb Wagner said, "they should probably do something with it seeing that there's been three accidents there. Whether they'll change the speed limit or straighten it out, something needs to be done."

And the fire chief isn't sure if any changes need to be made to the road, but say the State Department of Transportation is conducting a study of the area.

Rifenburgh said, "There are curves there and loads can shift and create some problems for drivers as they're trying to navigate that area."

State Police are still investigating the cause of the accident. We are told it could take several weeks for cleanup crews to clean up the mess.

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