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Fuel Tanker Flips and Leaks 1,200 Gallons Before Spill Is Stopped at US1 and SR100 in Bunnell

| March 26, 2018

The tanker truck leaked much of its cargo before the leak was stopped. Click on the image for larger view. (Flagler County Fire Rescue)

The tanker truck leaked much of its cargo before the leak was stopped. Click on the image for larger view. (Flagler County Fire Rescue)

Last Updated: 11:45 a.m.

A DeFord’s Fuel and Oil truck rolled near the intersection of State Road 100 and US 1, leaking 1,200 gallons of fuel before the leak was stopped and the truck righted this morning in Bunnell. The exact location is near the intersection with the loop of westbound 100, just south of the bridge.

The truck was carrying 1,800 gallons of offroad diesel. It spilled into storm drains, a retention ditch and the street, all of which will require considerable clean-up by state agencies.

The driver of the truck was hospitalized. “Initially he wasn’t hurt but then he started complaining of being nauseous and had a headache so we transported him to the hospital,” Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito said from the scene. “We had quite a commotion.”

“The guy was not hurt seriously,” Bunnell City Manager Dan Davis said. “I saw him walking around, he had couple of cuts and a band-aid, I think he had a concussion, I saw him bent over and throwing up a couple of times.”

Both north and southbound lanes of U.S. 1 were shut down around 8 a.m. and were to remain closed until around noon. John’s Towing, the Bunnell tower, righted the truck by 11 a.m. and was to tow it away.

The Department of Environmental Protection has been notified, as has the Environmental Protection Agency, and the St. Johns County Fire Rescue Hazmat team worked the scene until about 11 a.m., when it left.

“Right now, we just off-loaded all the contents of it and just now rolled it over,” Petito said at 11 a.m. “We lost about 1200 gallon of this fuel and they off-loaded the other 600 to 700 onto another truck, and they just flipped it back on its wheels so they can tow it out of here.”

The pink dye in the diesel signifies that it’s the off-road sort, which may be used only in such things as generators, heavy construction equipment and farming equipment.

Bystanders say the trucker was driving south when he lost control and flipped, ending across both lanes of northbound US1.

dan davis bunnell

Dan Davis. (© FlaglerLive)

Davis was able to see surveillance video from both the Citgo gas station and Doyle’s Automotive. It shows the tanker driving south, then “just out of nowhere he starts going sideways and starts over-correcting,” Davis said. With it being top-heavy and in the slick, raining conditions, “he over-corrected until he started slipping and landed over on the side in the northbound lane, right under the traffic light,” with fuel spilling out of the top valves.

Garry Black, owner of Doyle’s, was first on scene, walking up to the driver as the driver was kicking the windshield out and stepping out on his own.

Davis said responders made the decision to not right the truck immediately out of caution: if the operation had triggered any sparking, it could have caused the fuel to ignite. But with I-95 northbound being closed at the time, because of a fatal crash between Old Dixie Highway and State Road 100, traffic on U.S. 1 was heavier than usual, adding to the congestion.

The Department of Environmental Protection “are here now,” Petito said, “they have a commercial cleanup company that just pulled up on scene.” Along with the Department of Transportation, the two state agencies will determine what needs to get cleaned up and to what extent. “They’ll have to probably dig up the grass where it all went, they’ll probably have to replace some of the asphalt once it gets chewed up by the fuel,” and replace some of the storm drainage, Petito said.

Davis said agencies put down specially designed booms that soak up fuel. “At this point I’m having confidence it’ll be OK. A little concerned, but DEP, that’s their thing,” Davis, who spent most of the morning at the scene and was to return there again through the day, said. “They’re probably even more concerned. It’s not a volatile fuel, it’s more of the fact that environmentally it being in the ground and the water. More to come on that.”

His primary concern is infiltration of fuel into the canal and sewers, but he was told that the spill may have been contained enough before affecting the sewers. “IF DEP and hazmat weren’t here I’d be concerned but they jumped right on it,” he said. Davis said the city will release more specific information as soon as more is known about the extent of the spill and the needed repairs.

DBI, the contractor that usually works with the state transportation department, may have to dig up that section of US1 and repave it.

“It was good coordination, everything went real smooth with all the agencies problem is the road may remain closed most of the day,”

Motorists, of course, are asked to avoid the area, if they’re heading northbound: the southbound lanes were reopened in late morning, and State Road 100’s east-west routes were open.

Responding agencies also included Flagler County Fire Rescue unit 92 from the Flagler Executive Airport, and unit 62 from the Bunnell Fire Station. Bunnell’s City Manager Dan Davis was on scene with Bunnell Public Works Manager Michael Boileau and Bunnell Fire Manager Ron Bolser.

DeFord’s Fuel and Oil is based in St. Augustine.

The pink diesel fuel went into a retention ditch and storm drains. Click on the image for larger view. (Flagler County Fire Rescue)

The pink diesel fuel went into a retention ditch and storm drains. Click on the image for larger view. (Flagler County Fire Rescue)

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6 Responses for “Fuel Tanker Flips and Leaks 1,200 Gallons Before Spill Is Stopped at US1 and SR100 in Bunnell”

  1. Dave says:

    Why do we allow these vehicles to recklessly drive this disgusting fuel threw our state? This is a disaster for local wildlife and people who eat the fish here in Bunnell.

  2. Just the truth says:

    Drivers need to realize you can’t drive fast on wet roads.

  3. Really says:

    Imo tanker driver go too fast. Case in pt.Prone to flips

  4. Rick Kang says:

    Wow! The speed limit is 35mph! Maybe it should reduced to 25mph! US 1 and SR 100 is always a busy intersection! This will be a very Expensive clean up!

  5. Concerned Citizen says:

    Hope the driver recovers. What a mess this will be. Fuel spills are a major hassle to clean up.

    @ City Manager Dan Davis unless you’re a state certified Paramedic or other healthcare professional you shouldn’t be so quick to make judgements and road side diagnosis.

    A concussion is a serious matter and should be treated as such. Not all accident injuries are visible either. He could have had internal injuries as well.

    Will be interesting to see what caused the loss of control.. And what about safeguards to retain his load? Sounds like to me those failed as well.

  6. joe bagodonuts says:

    speed is usually a contributing factor in a truck roll over.

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