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Police are investigating after this SUV collided with an oil truck on Grafton Road in Portsmouth Wednesday night. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

Oil truck overturns in Portsmouth crash

PORTSMOUTH - A truck carrying 2,000 gallons of home heating oil overturned Wednesday night after the driver swerved to avoid another vehicle, police said.

The accident occurred around 8 p.m. and shut down part of Grafton Road near the entrance to the C & J Trailways bus terminal.

Police Sgt. Christopher Roth said it appears a man operating a GMC Yukon pulled out in front of the oil truck, which was heading toward Route 33.

Roth said he believes the Yukon also rolled over, landing upright around the intersection of Grafton Drive and C & J Trailways.

The driver of the Yukon suffered a head injury and was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

Fire Capt. Todd Germain described his injuries as "moderate" but he did not believe they were life-threatening.
The driver of the oil truck, owned by Diesel Direct, was able to climb out on his own after the accident and was not hurt, Germain said.

Specialized equipment from Diesel Direct was expected to be brought to the scene to offload the oil before the truck can be turned upright and towed from the scene.

Germain said the oil truck needed to be emptied as a safety precaution.

"We don't know if there's something under the tank that's plugging a hole and when we lift the truck up it all comes falling out," he said.

Germain said less than five gallons of oil spilled onto the roadway.

"We've been able to contain it. It's a very slow leak through a hatch on the roof," Germain said.

Firefighters used bags of speedy dry to absorb the oil.

Germain said he expected crews to remain at the scene until after midnight.

Portsmouth police and fire responded to the scene. State police also responded to assist with accident reconstruction.

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