ODOT: One lane of OR 126 will remain closed for days during fuel cleanup
LEABURG, Ore. – One lane of OR 126 McKenzie Highway will be closed for days for environmental cleanup after a tanker truck crashed Tuesday morning and spilled fuel on the roadway, ODOT said.
“What we don't know, until the trucks are pumped and until they're moved, is exactly how much gasoline leaked,” said Katherine Benenati from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
Oregon State Police said the crash occurred one mile east of Leaburg at approximately 6:40 a.m. when a fuel tanker with a trailer wat traveling eastbound on the highway, drifted off the shoulder and rolled.
Police said the vehicle came to rest against some small trees.
The tanker and trailer were found leaking at the scene and fuel was on the roadway.
Eugene/Springfield Hazmat responded to contain the spill.
The McKenzie Highway is expected to remain closed most of the day Tuesday. Drivers should consider taking alternate routes, including OR 58 or U.S. 20.
One lane is expected to open late Tuesday afternoon after the fuel and truck are removed, but one lane of the roadway will remain closed for the next several days during environmental cleanup.
“We certainly know that there's a possibility of groundwater contamination. At this point, there's no surface water contamination. It has not reached the river and we don't see a path for that to happen," Benenati said.
The DEQ will determine how many wells are in the area, how close they are to the site of the spill and whether there’s a potential for gasoline to get near the wells.
Crews will remove the gasoline from the tanks. After the tanks are removed, they’ll remove the contaminated soil.
The driver of the tanker, Robert Reynolds, 31, of Hines, Oregon, suffered “moderate” injuries in the crash. He was transported by ground ambulance to RiverBend Hospital in Springfield.
Oregon State Police is investigating the crash.