Driver of truck involved in Hwy 16 diesel spill charged with driving without due care and attention

Driver and passenger were not injured in crash; cleanup expected to take three days to a week

The driver of a truck hauling diesel on Highway 16 that slid into the ditch near 19th Avenue around 6 a.m. on Aug. 19 has been given a traffic violation ticket from the Smithers RCMP.

Corporal Kevin Christensen said the crash was caused by driver error.

“Without due care and attention, we believe they weren’t paying attention and went off-road right,” he said.

He added he doesn’t believe any further traffic charges will be laid in regard to the accident, but isn’t sure if charges will be laid against the driver or the trucking company under environmental regulations for the spill.

The Ministry of Environment Emergency dispatched a specialist to the scene.

According to the ministry, approximately 5,000 litres were spilled.

The rear pump had a failed valve that resulted in the release of diesel fuel to the ground, but the forward tank remained intact and did not leak, the ministry said.

The product was contained to the ditch and the spiller engaged an environmental response contractor to do the cleanup and remediation.

As of Monday, the cleanup was still underway with the ministry continuing to monitor

There did not appear to be any danger to the public, said Alan Harris, CAO for the Town of Smithers.

Neither the driver nor passenger were hurt in the crash.

The driver told The Interior News he didn’t know what had happened.

-with files with Thom Barker

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