Tanker Crash Leads To Week Long Cleanup

POWELL, ID (TruckingNewsNow.com) (Source: Idaho State Police) — On March 29th at 06:24 am, the Idaho State Police responded to a report of a fuel tanker truck that had crashed on US12 at milepost 163 near Powell, Idaho. Gary G. Claussen, 66 yoa, of Missoula, Montana, was westbound on US12 when, for an unknown reason, went off the road at milepost 163. The brown 2005 Peterbilt tractor driven by Mr.Claussen, became disconnected from the fuel trailer and overturned, trapping Mr. Claussen inside the cab.

The Idaho Transportation Department arrived on scene and assisted in removing Mr. Claussen from the vehicle. One of the fuel tanks ruptured due to the crash and spilled 1200 gallons of gasoline into the drainage ditch. This ditch connects to the reservoir which connects to the Lochsa River. Once the scene was assessed, measures were taken to contain the spill and the roadway was shut down in both directions.

The Department of Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nez Perce Tribe were all notified. West Central Environmental Consultants responded to the scene, completed the initial assessment and began the clean up. The Region Two HazMat Team and the Environmental Protection Agency Liaison Officer were also on scene.

Mr. Claussen was transported to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula for evaluation of minor injuries. The road was completely blocked for approximately 3.5 hours. One lane was opened and traffic was intermittent for approximately 6 hours until the road was completely open around 6:30 pm.

The fuel tanker and trailer have been removed however the clean up crew will remain in the area for approximately a week. Investigation is ongoing. 

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