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Crews use giant airbags to right UPS truck after I-580 rollover

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A new air bag procedure could help crews and commuters alike after big rigs crash onto their sides. The lengthy process usually involves many people and often leads to massive traffic jams. (KGO-TV)

Traffic is moving again on Interstate 580 Wednesday after a big-rig crashed and impacted the morning commute. We saw an innovative tactic being used to right an overturned UPS truck.

A big-rig rolled over onto its side just after 1 a.m. No one was injured, but it forced the closure of the Hacienda Drive on-ramp to eastbound I-580 in the Pleasanton-Dublin area. How crews got it upright isn't something you see every day, just ask CHP Officer Eric Aguliar.

"Unusual to me. I've never seen it before," he said.

RELATED: UPS truck accident cleared from I-880 onramp in Pleasanton

Apparently the unusual method could save you a ton of time on your morning commute.

"This is one of the new tools that we're using to get the freeways opened faster," said Alex Gorshen, owner of Golden State Fleet Services.

Wednesday morning, Gorshen's the tow company used giant air bags to put the big-rig back on its wheels.

They started at about 2:15 a.m., putting in a small, "starter bag" to make some space, then the big ones were put under the length of the truck. A rotating wrecker, similar to a crane, helped pull from the top.

The bags were then filled and the truck was upright three and half hours later.

In April, a big-rig carrying 40,000 pounds of cargo including bottles of malt liquor ended up on its side on I-880 in Hayward, creating a traffic nightmare.

It took seven hours to offload the cargo and get it upright. That was the key to Wednesday morning's cleanup. With the air bags, no one had to wait for UPS to send help to take out the cargo, saving crews and commuters half the time.

"If we had to offload," Gorshen said. "I'd say we saved two and a half, maybe three hours, maybe even four hours."

Another perk for air bags is limiting damage for the truck. Sometimes when they use the traditional way, because of all the weight of the cargo, the side of the truck can split open like a soda can.
Related Topics:
trafficaccidentrollover crashtruck crashtraffic accidentcrashtrucksI-580CHPPleasantonDublin
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