Repairs underway on stretch of Montrose Road damaged in fire

By Ovetta Wiggins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 14, 2010; 5:42 PM

A Frederick man was charged with negligent driving Thursday after a fiery tanker truck accident in Rockville sparked traffic jams and damaged roadways.

Michael A. Gongola, 45, of the 10000 block of Woodchuck Lane was driving the truck when "for unknown reasons, the tanker truck began to drift to the left side of the highway," according to the Montgomery County police.

Police said Gongola tried to correct, which caused the tanker, hauling 8,900 gallons of gasoline, to overturn on Montrose Road, east of the Interstate 270 bridge.

Debris from the truck struck a second vehicle. The passenger of the car and the truck driver were not injured, police said.

The Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration said Thursday that emergency repairs were needed on Montrose Road. Crews were expected to remove two to three inches of asphalt Thursday and return Friday to pave the roadway.

"It scarred pretty bad," Charlie Gischlar, a spokesman for the administration, said of the damaged roadway.

Highway officials said Montrose Road will be closed in each direction between Tower Oaks Boulevard and Seven Locks Road. Lanes are expected to be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday while the road is repaved.

Drivers should expect major delays and are encouraged to seek alternate routes.

Highway officials said all lanes should be reopened by Friday afternoon, weather permitting.

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