While tanker trucks that supply oil and other types of fuel are vital parts of our economy, many of these vehicles are driven carelessly, causing thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars in damage when they are involved in accidents. Homeowners, local businesses and other residents may be severely affected when a tanker truck overturns or leaks its contents. Luckily, those whose lives are changed as the result of truckers speeding may be entitled to seek compensation.
Truckers Cause Environmental Hazards
Last month in Gateway, Colorado, local news reported on crews racing against time to clean up and contain a significant oil spill. A trucker, said to have been transporting roughly 10,000 gallons of crude oil, crashed north of the town. Officials said that the driver was speeding when he attempting to drive around a corner and lost control. The driver suffered minor injuries because of the accident and was admitted to a local hospital for care.
There was little time to react as crews scrambled to contain the spill. After viewing the accident, workers reported that 3,500 gallons had been spilled. A nearby creek was at risk, and seeping oil ran less than 100 yards from the water. Crews made an effort to contain the material by blocking the stream. The creek is home to several beaver dams and runs into the Dolores and Colorado Rivers. The highway was closed for more than 10 hours before crews were able to pull the tanker truck from the crash site and clean up the spill.
A crash in Vail, Colorado, involving a tanker truck carrying hazardous materials was the result of a truck rolling. The truck began to leak its contents, roughly 4,900 gallons of flammable materials.
Yet another incident was reported on I-270 near Columbus, Ohio shutting down miles of roadway while the truck leaked several thousand gallons of diesel fuel. Because this is not the first incident and these types of accidents are quite common, Columbus officials are considering implementing higher fines if they catch truckers trying to take shortcuts through the city.
Current regulations require truckers to drive around Columbus on The Outerbelt, or Jack Nicklaus Freeway, if they are transporting fuel, oil or other hazardous materials. So far this year, police have stopped at least 32 truckers violating this regulation, yet they are only allowed to issue a citation because these matters are the responsibility of the Columbus Division of Fire.
The Effects of Spills
Hazardous material spills like these are a serious threat to public health and property. Homeowners and business owners are strongly affected by these incidents, especially if their homes or businesses are located directly at an accident scene. Oil spills and fuel leakages mean damage, and some owners and residents may not even be able to continue living or working at affected sites.
If you or someone you love has been affected by a tanker truck spill, contact our office immediately. The time to file a claim is limited, so act now. Our caring, experienced attorneys will review your case at no cost to you, and we will work with you to answer any questions you may have. You may be entitled to financial compensation.