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Pima County Board of Supervisors gives update on toxic spill

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner has released autopsy and toxicology reports for the truck driver involved in February’s nitric acid spill on I-10, revealing he had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.312% at the time of the crash.

The legal BAC for most drivers over 21 is .08%for commercial drivers, it’s .04%. The medical examiner confirmed with KGUN 9 the the high BAC was due to the driver’s consumption of alcoholic drink(s).

Driver Ricky Immel died in the Tuesday, Feb. 14 crash that led to a shut down of the interstate and a shelter-in-place order due to fumes from the nitric acid that Immel was transporting when his truck overturned.

Immel was the only person who died as a result of the crash. His service dog, which was riding with him at the time, escaped the cab of the overturned truck and was found and reunited with Immel’s family in the days following the incident.

The toxicology report also showed a small amount of chlordiazepoxide, a drug commonly used to treat mild to moderate anxiety or for aid in alcohol withdrawal, according to the Medical Examiner.

According to Medical Examiner David Winston, who prepared the autopsy, Immel’s death is attributed to “blunt force injuries, probable positional asphyxia and exposure to nitrogen gasses with hypertension, obesity, acute and chronic ethanol abuse and diabetes as contributing conditions.”