FREMONT -- The driver of a big-rig carrying more than 30 tons of mail was not seriously hurt when the truck overturned early Friday on Interstate 680 near the Sunol Grade, closing all but one northbound lane most of the morning.
The lanes, just north of Andrade Road where the wreck occurred were all reopened at 12:14 p.m. But traffic remained at crawl on I-680 and it was not clear how soon it would recover, California Highway Patrol Officer Ron Simmons said.
The truck's driver, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries and did not require hospitalization, Simmons said. He told police at the scene that he ran over debris in the freeway, causing his brakes to lock. He then lost control of the truck, and it tipped over at 5:01 a.m., Simmons said.
"There is evidence at the scene that substantiates the driver's version of events," Simmons said.
The truck was carrying 66,000 pounds of U.S. Postal Service mail from the San Jose office where it was processed, Postal Service spokesman Gus Ruiz said. The mail on the truck was carried in 41 containers, and Ruiz said only five of the containers spilled from the truck.
The containers contained large, flat envelopes, magazines and merchant advertising, and no individual piece of mail ever was on the freeway, Ruiz said. Merchant bills and other mail contained in smaller envelopes were not part of the load, Ruiz said.
The recovered mail went back to San Jose for reprocessing, Ruiz said, and next will be moved to its destination as soon as possible.
A small bit of diesel fuel also spilled, Simmons said.
All lanes in the northbound direction were blocked immediately after the wreck and remained that way until one lane opened just before 7 a.m., Simmons said. Motorists were urged to use Interstate 880 or Niles Canyon Road, both of which also jammed with traffic in the aftermath.
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.