Truck overturns, leaks molten sulfur onto River Road

An 18-wheeler carrying molten sulfur overturned early Wednesday and closed a portion of River Road in St. James Parish for seven hours, forcing detours, Louisiana State Police reported.

Trooper Evan Harrell said the sulfur spilled from the truck across the highway, blocking both lanes of La. 18 two miles south of the Sunshine Bridge. The area is near the Mosaic Faustina plant.

The driver, Calvin Brown, no age or hometown available, fell asleep behind the wheel while he drove eastbound on La. 18, said Harrell, spokesman for State Police Troop C. The Savage tractor-trailer went off the highway and overturned about 4:06 a.m., he said.

Brown was cited for careless operation and had minor injuries, Harrell said.

Emergency response crews, including State Police Hazardous Materials, contained and cleaned up the sulfur, Harrell said.

Responders used fire hoses to cool the heated, molten sulfur still leaking from the tanker until it hardened and was sealed inside the tanker, he said. The 18-wheeler had to be towed away.

River Road reopened about 1:08 p.m. Wednesday, Harrell said