Fuel tanker overturns and leaves mess off US 82

Fuel tanker overturns and leaves mess off US 82
A large wrecker is pulling the wrecked tractor from the yard
A large wrecker is pulling the wrecked tractor from the yard
Hazmat personnel examine the tanker
Hazmat personnel examine the tanker

WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - A resident has a message for a truck driver after a tanker truck flipped over in his yard.

"I told him he should thank god the rest of his life that he lived through this day," said David Taylor.

Crews will be cleaning up where thousands of gallons of diesel flooded the yard for a while.
A HAZMAT team has already started the cleanup effort. They may have to dig up as much as 8 feet of ground to get all of that fuel out. It's a process that could take a week or two.

Nearby homeowners can't believe what they see as they look at a crash scene in there front yard—an upside down, mangled tanker truck that spewed almost 7,000 gallons of diesel on their yard.

"Thank god it didn't come up to the house," said Taylor.

It all started around 7 this morning when David Taylor woke up.

"I heard this deep, thundering rumble and things breaking and crunching and cracking and I thought, 'aw this isn't good,'" said Taylor.

And it wasn't.

"There's this truck laying out in the front yard upside down and fuel was gushing out all over, just like a hose," said Taylor.

Troopers said the driver, 52-year old Doug Foster, was traveling east on US 82 when he crossed the median and both westbound lanes before tearing through the Taylor's yard. He walked away with only a sore knee and leg bruises.

"He was pretty much OK and it's absolutely amazing the kind of damage that they did and the guy lived through this," said Taylor.

The focus has now shifted to the environmental impact of this massive spill.
Crews will be on scene evaluating the depth of the diesel in the ground for the next several days—which is important for folks who use wells.

"Last thing in the world you want is to be pumping up diesel fuel in your drinking water. Even though we have the property damage, that's all it is and we thank God for that," said Taylor.

Luckily, no one else was injured in the disaster, and the wreckage was cleaned up shortly after noon on Tuesday. The truck and trailer actually came unattached when the tanker rolled and that could have saved the driver's life.

About a dozen firefighters responded to the crash Tuesday morning, and they admit that it's not a call they're used to receiving. Crews stood by in case the diesel caught fire. Luckily, their training paid off.

"Everybody has a basic foundation of where they start and what needs to be done first, who to contact, what to look for as far as signs that something bad is about to happen," said Captain Bryan Altman with the Worth County Fire Department.

Captain Altman said they train several times a year for these kinds of incidents.

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