Truck rolls into ditch, dumps 500 gallons of fuel

Thursday, October 11, 2001

DEXTER, Mo. -- Hauling fuel on some of Missouri's narrow roads can be a hazardous occupation, which was proven true Tuesday morning.

A truck headed east on Route W in Stoddard County, about 7.5 miles west of Kewanee, Mo., was carrying about 2,100 gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline when the driver lost control of the vehicle and overturned, causing the tank to fall into the ditch below the road and spilling an estimated 500 gallons of fuel.

Surprisingly, the driver escaped with only minimal injuries and assisted with the cleanup and recovery of the area.

The truck, a fuel bob-truck, owned by MFA Oil out of Columbia, Mo., was on its side in the left lane of Route W.

Shortly after the wreck occurred, members of the Highway Patrol Troop E, Bernie police, Bernie firefighters and the Bootheel Local Emergency Planning Committee arrived to help clean up the scene.

Bill Pippins, emergency management director and Bootheel emergency coordinator, said the accident could have been much worse than it was.

"There are literally millions of gallons of fuel that are transported through this area," Pippins said. "It isn't surprising to have one of these incidents every now and then."

Despite the delicate nature of the fuel spill, there was no fire.

"Fortunately the only thing to spill was diesel fuel," Pippins said. "The gasoline didn't spill, so we didn't have any diesel and gasoline mix."

He said the district director for MFA Oil was on the scene and, with the help of a few of his employees, used another MFA fuel truck that was equipped with a tank filtration system to retrieve nearly 85 percent of the spilled fuel.

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