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Diesel spilled when gravel truck flips

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By BEN CARLSON

A blown right-front tire caused a dump truck to leave the road, spill its load of gravel and leak an estimated 100 gallons of diesel fuel into a culvert last Tuesday afternoon on Highway 62 near Powell-Taylor Road.

The driver of the truck escaped injury, but the accident prompted a significant clean-up effort by several local agencies, according to Bart Powell, the county’s emergency management director.

The driver of the truck managed to escape injury, but his truck was seriously damaged when it toppled over and came to rest in a ditch.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Powell. “When I pulled up and asked where the driver was, the guy said right here. He was one lucky guy.”

Powell said the diesel fuel and other engine fluids were largely contained in the culvert beneath the road and did not make it into a small creek on the opposite side.

He said his office immediately contacted the state’s emergency management office and a hazardous materials clean-up company from Jessamine County.

He said large absorbent “booms” were placed in the area to contain the fluids before they were sucked up with a large vacuum truck. Water from a fire truck was then used to flush the culvert before also be sucked into the truck.

Next, earth moving equipment and a large Dumpster were brought in to dig up and remove any contaminated soil.

“It was all done in compliance with state and federal EPA standards,” Powell said.

Powell said trucking companies are required to have adequate insurance to cover the clean-up costs.

“The hauler is responsible,” he said.

The accident happened around 4 p.m., and the scene was eventually cleared just before 9. Powell said emergency workers were able to keep traffic flowing one lane at a time nearly the entire time.

Agencies responding to the scene included Anderson County Emergency Management, Anderson County EMS, Anderson County Fire Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, and local state highway employees who assisted with traffic control.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.