Truck overturns, spills 3,500 gallons of fuel south of Forks

By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — A Pettit Oil truck veered off U.S. Highway 101 about 25 miles south of Forks on Wednesday morning, causing its trailer to overturn and spill up to 3,500 gallons of fuel.

After the 8:24 a.m. wreck, spill responders stopped the leak before the trailer, which was carrying 5,600 gallons of fuel, spilled the rest of its cargo.

The truck’s other tank, which was partially full and had the same capacity, did not leak, said state Department of Ecology spokeswoman Kim Schmanke.

It’s unknown if any of the spilled fuel, likely diesel, reached a nearby seasonal tributary that flows either into Fletcher Creek or an unnamed stream, Schmanke said.

“We can’t confirm the environmental impact as of tonight,” she said Wednesday evening.

The northbound lane near Milepost 167, where the wreck occurred, will remain closed until the cleanup is finished, said state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Lisa Copeland.

Traffic is alternating through the southbound lane.

Snow was not a factor in the wreck, said State Patrol spokeswoman Trooper Krista Hedstrom, since the road was bare at the time.

Hedstrom said the driver drifted onto the shoulder and went into a ditch. He was cited for “wheels off roadway,” she said.

Cowlitz Clean Sweep, hired by Pettit, and responders from Ecology and Hoh and Quileute tribes used booms and adsorbent pads to contain the spill.

Cleanup will continue today.

The truck remained at the scene at 7 p.m. Wednesday but was expected to be removed later that evening, Hedstrom said.

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 23. 2011 11:27PM
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