Fuel oil truck overturns, spills load

Posted: Monday, October 23, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 5,000-gallon fuel oil delivery truck overturned and spilled much of its contents near Salcha on the Richardson Highway Saturday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The driver of the Polar Fuel truck, Daniel Smith of Fairbanks, apparently lost control after a steering over-correction, according to troopers. Smith suffered only minor injuries. He was charged with driving while fatigued.

Damage to the truck was estimated at $100,000.

Spill workers spread absorbent material on the roadway and used absorbent pads on some areas. A vacuum truck and excavation equipment were also used to collect the oil.

Tom DeRuyter, environmental specialist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation said the agency would monitor the site but that the initial assessment was positive. ''There are no water resources at risk and all the contaminated soil should be up by this evening,'' he said Saturday afternoon. ''They're doing a good job.''

Loss of the $130,000 truck hurts during one of the busiest times of year, said Polar Fuel General Manager Ehren Schachle. But he said the company brought in another truck to complete deliveries in the Salcha area and would have no trouble serving its customers until the damaged truck is replaced.

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