Wreck ends with cooking oil spilled on Highway 78
by Rachel Davis
Apr 19, 2013 | 3286 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Firefighters from Sumiton Fire and Rescue’s Hazardous Materials Response Team spread cat litter and other absorbant materials to soak up the oil spilled on the roadway.
Firefighters from Sumiton Fire and Rescue’s Hazardous Materials Response Team spread cat litter and other absorbant materials to soak up the oil spilled on the roadway.
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SUMITON — A truck wrecked on U.S. Highway 78 Thursday morning, spilling its cargo of used cooking oil onto the roadway and median just outside the Sumiton city limits.

The truck was attempting to turn into the median when a black Volkswagen sedan struck the rear of the truck, forcing it off the roadway and into a ditch and spilling the contents of the tank.

Sumiton police responded to block the area and Sumiton Fire and Rescue responded with its hazmat team and trailer. Although the oil spilled is more biodegradable than crude oil, it still causes roadway hazards because it is slick and doesn’t dissolve or run off the roadway.

The hazmat team stopped the leak, contained the oil and began using absorbant materials to clear the oil.

Fire Chief David Waid said they estimated approximately 100 gallons spilled from the truck.

“This was a fairly small spill, but it is still oil,” Waid said.

Waid also said he was grateful city leaders recognized the need for a hazmat team and funded the training for the techs and the trailer a few years ago. Sumiton currently has a fully-equipped hazmat trailer and 10 certified hazmat techs, with more planning to attend upcoming trainings.

“Hazmat training is tough,” Waid said. “It isn’t something you’re going to use every day, but you have to have it ready if you need it.”

Alabama State Troopers are investigating the accident. The driver of the truck was uninjured and the driver of the car was treated for minor injuries at the scene.