Fuel Truck Accident Spills 1,200 Gallons

Fuel Truck Accident Spills 1,200 Gallons

Hwy 12 | Friday

POWELL, ID – A fuel truck went off the road and leaked 1200 gallons of gas into a drainage ditch that connects to the Lochsa River.

Just before 6:30 Friday morning the Idaho State Police responded to the crash on Highway 12 at milepost 163 near Powell, ID.  The truck, driven by Gary G. Claussen of Missoula, MT, was headed westbound when it went off the road for an unknown reason.  The fuel trailer became disconnected and the tractor overturned trapping Claussen inside.  Idaho Transportation employees arrived and helped him get out. 

One of the fuel tanks ruptured, spilling 1200 gallons of gasoline into the drainage ditch.  The ditch connects to a reservoir.  The reservoir connects to the Lochsa River.

While the ITD worked to clean the accident, the highway was shut down in both directions.  After a few hours one lane opened to traffic, but it was nearly 12 hours before the highway was completely open.

The Department of Environmental Quality, The Environmental Protection Agency, and the Nez Perce Tribe were all notified.  A consultant team headed to the scene, and started clean up of fuel.  The clean-up crew will remain in the area for about a week.

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