In early November, a tractor-trailer driver lost control of his rig and crashed into Raccoon Creek in Newark. The truck was loaded with phosphoric and sulfuric acid. A mix of the toxic substances, as well as diesel fuel from the damaged truck, leaked into the stream in the popular recreational area.
Hazmat spill has dire consequences
The site was closed for two days while crews worked to contain the spill and clean the area, but the damage was done almost immediately. According to The News Herald, “State Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife spokeswoman Karen Norris… [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][told] The Columbus Dispatch [that] nearly 6,400 fish were killed in Raccoon Creek in Newark. The crash and spill affected about 1.5 miles of the Licking County stream.”
This spill is devastating beyond the local contamination. The Raccoon Creek Partnership has spent more than 30 years and countless hours of volunteer efforts to clean up the creek. The area had been devastated by mining activities, leaving the overall health of the watershed severely compromised. A 1984 sampling of the creek found only two fish, both of the same species. In 2005, thanks to the partnership’s efforts, 244 fish representing 13 species were thriving in the river.
This single accident represents a significant setback to a three-decade effort by thousands of volunteers. One moment of inattention, and years of dedicated effort were erased. The driver has been charged with failure to maintain control, though no trial date has been set as of this writing.
Cargo spills pose threat to all
Though regrettable, this incident is not unique. Fuel and cargo spills are all too common during big rig accidents. Whether they are the result of distracted driving or negligent loading practices, cargo spillage can have devastating impacts on our environment and create significant health hazards for drivers and emergency responders. This is yet another instance that highlights the need for cohesive federal regulation of the trucking industry.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law can help fight for your rights, whether your injuries were the result of an accident or exposure to toxic substances. Contact us today for a free consultation at one of our office locations throughout Ohio or Kentucky.