A Missoula hazardous materials team responded to a crash involving two semi trucks and a passenger vehicle that blocked traffic on U.S. 93 about 12 miles north of I-90 at around 11:20 a.m. today, January 4.

"We're not moving at all," said local Phillip Novak, who was stuck in traffic. "There's a line of cars at least a mile long. I think the only cars coming back the other way are the ones that turned around after waiting too long."

According to Missoula Rural Fire Deputy Chief Chris Newman, two members of a HazMat team inspected the crash after it was reported that one of the vehicles was carrying paint.

"One of the semis was carrying a couple pallets of latex paint. Investigators realized that there was no immediate threat, except for a big mess, but nothing that was a threat to people or the environment. I'm not sure how much paint would be on a pallet, but I would guess a few hundred gallons."

Newman said that victims of the crash had been taken to the hospital, but was unaware if there were any casualties. A saddle tank from one of the semis also spilled about 50 gallons of diesel fuel, but it stayed on the roadway and was mopped up with an absorbent. Traffic was blocked for more than three hours during the clean-up.