A 2006 Volvo tractor-trailer traveling west on Interstate 10 veered into the median. It overturned near milepost marker 163, 23 miles east of Van Horn, last Friday at about 3:30 p.m., spilling its hazardous material onto eastbound lanes. Emergency responders identified the hazardous material spill and stopped traffic at the scene on the east and westbound lanes of I-10.
Lane closures held traffic for dozens of miles in both directions for over 12 hours. Public safety officials were able to turn some traffic around with detours at I-10 Exit 139 Highway 90 and at Kent, Texas Exit 176. Heavy traffic could be heard traveling through the sleepy town of Valentine all night.
The driver of the 2003 Volvo, Nikolai Vidinliey, a 63-year-old male from Georgia, was ejected from the vehicle with one arm pinned underneath the wreckage. He was freed and taken to Culberson County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Roxanne Cabezuela. A Culberson County Sheriff’s Deputy and two Texas Department of Public Safety responders were treated for chemical exposure and released.
Local Sheriff’s Department, EMS, DPS, Fire, TxDOT, and crews from El Paso, including the El Paso Fire Department and Lonestar Hazmat, contributed to the efforts.