Man charged, accused of intentionally dumping diesel in Thomas C - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man charged, accused of intentionally dumping diesel in Thomas County

Investigators charged Jaron Coleman with egregious littering and criminal damage to property. (Source: Thomas County Jail) Investigators charged Jaron Coleman with egregious littering and criminal damage to property. (Source: Thomas County Jail)
Diesel spill in Thomas County last week. (Source: WALB) Diesel spill in Thomas County last week. (Source: WALB)
Chief Investigator Tim Watkins (Source: WALB) Chief Investigator Tim Watkins (Source: WALB)
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

A Worth County fuel truck driver now faces felony charges in connection with a diesel spill in Thomas County near Hall Road last week.

MORE: Crews still working to clean up diesel spill in Thomas Co.

Investigators charged Jaron Coleman with egregious littering and criminal damage to property. They said surveillance video shows him dumping 3,000 gallons of diesel into a retention area at Murphy USA gas station on April 16.

Investigators said they aren't releasing that video to the public, but Chief Investigator Tim Watkins said it shows Coleman's actions were intentional.

"He came down to Thomasville where he was not scheduled to go, to and backed into Murphy's. You can actually see him get out of the truck back up a little farther. If you watch the store surveillance video, and take his hose, and run it over to the retention drainage area, and let the hose flow freely for about thirty minutes, and get in his truck and leave," explained Watkins.

Watkins said Colemen got the fuel in Albany and realized it was the wrong kind once he got to Pelham.

He said he believes Coleman dumped the fuel to keep from notifying company officials about the mistake.

The spill prompted two road closures and evacuations at Garrison-Pilcher Elementary.

Watkins estimates the county has already spent over a $1 million on cleanup efforts and said they still have a long way to go.

Murphy USA plans to reimburse Thomas County $20,000 for initial response costs since it happened on their property. Company officials said they also plan to conduct their own investigation.

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