Truck accident spills heating oil at Amsterdam exit

About 10,500 gallons of home- heating oil spilled from a tractor-trailer after a crash on the Thr

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Categories: Schenectady County

About 10,500 gallons of home- heating oil spilled from a tractor-trailer after a crash on the Thruway Sunday morning.

The accident happened just before 9 a.m. Gabor Koppany, 38, of Frankfort was driving a 2000 Mack tractor-trailer east on the Thruway when he took the Exit 27 ramp. State police said Koppany failed to reduce speed while going around a curve on the ramp. The trailer, owned by ARG Trucking Co. of Phelps slid into the guard rail on the right shoulder and went over it, causing the truck to roll onto its roof and slide into trees along the shoulder, according to a press release.

The weather was reported to be foggy. Police have not said whether that was a factor in the accident or whether any tickets would be issued.

The Amsterdam Fire Department, Montgomery County HAZMAT team and the New York Air National Guard fire departments used booms to contain the fuel in several areas in the woods.

“We did the best we could to stop it from going into the stream,” said Amsterdam Battalion Chief Peter McNamara.

It was a difficult task, McNamara said and Saturday’s wet weather did not help because the oil was just running along with the ground water.

The stream feeds into the Mohawk River about a half-mile away. Emergency personnel placed floating booms in the stream to contain the spill.

McNamara said he was not sure exactly how much fuel reached the river, but he believes some fuel seeped into the ground. Cleanup would be ongoing.

“They’ll have to dig out all the area and remove all the dirt. It’s going to be quite the operation,” he said.

A state Department of Environmental Conservation supervisor was also at the scene coordinating the cleanup with local departments and Op-Tech of Albany, a private contractor hired by the trucking company.

The New York State Thruway Authority kept Exit 27 open by diverting traffic around the scene using the opposite shoulder.

A person who answered the phone at the Rensselaer office of ARG Trucking Co. said he had no comment and said to call the main office in Phelps. There was no answer at that location.

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