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Hwy. 17 Open Following Nitrogen Truck Fire

The Santa Cruz Mountains thoroughfare was closed for several hours late Wednesday and early Thursday.

Highway 17 is open Thursday morning, following a seven-hour shutdown caused when a tractor-trailer hauling nitrogen caught fire on the Santa Clara County side of the mountain road, the California Highway Patrol reported.

of the winding road between San Jose and Santa Cruz. It closed the highway in both directions Wednesday night.

The big-rig involved was a nitrogen tanker truck that caught fire near Redwood Estates, according to the CHP traffic incident report posted online. The flames spread to a nearby hillside, igniting a half-acre grass fire.

Fire crews responding to the tractor-trailer fire said residents who live in the Redwood Estates community in Los Gatos did not have to be evacuated and no injuries were reported.

California Highway Patrol announced the highway would be closed in both directions at 10:36 p.m. Traffic was rerouted on Bear Creek Road and Summit Road to avoid the fire.

The northbound lanes reopened around 1:30 a.m. Thursday; the southbound lanes were cleared for traffic by 5:45 a.m.

There was no information immediately available about what caused the crash.

—Bay City News contributed to this report

Shannon Burkey September 06, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Did last night's accident affect any of your morning commutes?

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