A fuel tanker in Chautauqua County tipped over early Monday morning, sending the driver to the hospital and leaving cleanup crews with a giant mess. YNN's Mark Goshgarian tell us why the accident could have been a lot worse.
KIANTONE, N.Y. — "We're real lucky. Yeah, it could have been a lot worse," said Chief Steve Reale, Kiantone Fire Department.
Reale says a tractor trailer went over an embankment, and rolled over a little after 6 a.m. Monday on Route 62. Five gallons of fuel spilled after the tanker landed in a ravine.
"First, we didn't know how bad it was leaking, set some booms and pads just as precaution, put some speedy dry around the truck to contain the spill," said Reale.
The driver suffered minor injures and was taken to WCA Hospital.
State Police say the slushy roads may have played a role in the accident.
"Big lesson learned here is just to slow it down a little bit more than usual when the snow's flying because this has taken up the whole day now, unfortunately, for all these units, police and fire," said Trooper Robert Murtha, State Police.
The Chautauqua County Hazmat team was called in to prevent the fuel from going into a nearby creek.
"We're very close to where the Audubon is and there's a lot of wildlife in this area just south of us. If it gets in the waterway, it'll pollute the waterway, or downstream it could get into people's drinking water," said Dan Imfeld, Hazmat Deputy Fire Coordinator.
To help prevent any further fuel from spilling out of the truck, crews actually drilled a hole at the top of the truck and transferred about 7,600 gallons of diesel fuel into another tanker.
"It's not as dangerous with fuel oil as it would be with gasoline, but we take a lot of precaution just to make sure our folks are safe," said Imfeld.
Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren, Pennsylvania was shut down for most of the day.