ROOT — A Mirabito fuel truck overturned and spilled its roughly 3,000 gallon load on Flanders Road on Thursday. The fuel ran down a hill into a cornfield. The company is expected to clean up the spill under the direction of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The cause of the accident that occurred around 1 p.m. on Thursday is under investigation, Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffery Smith said Friday.
The truck apparently began tipping over – for an as yet undetermined reason – while traveling on Flanders Road and subsequently struck a power pole. It came to rest on its side in the front yard of a home at 140 Flanders Road.
The truck will undergo inspection by the state Department of Transportation to determine whether equipment failure played a role in the accident.
“We don’t believe there to be anything criminal in nature,” Smith said.
The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene by ambulance crews, according to Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Rick Sager.
Area fire departments were requested to the scene to help contain the fuel that spilled from the truck when it turned over.
“When we got there the truck was on its side and had spilled somewhere in the area of 3,000 gallons of fuel oil,” Sager said. “It ran downhill into a cornfield about 400 yards from where the truck tipped over.”
Fire and emergency management crews worked into the evening trying to contain the spill by digging ditches and using sand and absorbent pads.
“It did infiltrate the cornfield some,” Sager said.
Local agencies continued their efforts at the scene until the company reportedly contracted by Mirabito to clean up the spill arrived around 7 p.m.
“They’re still on site today doing remediation,” Sager said Friday. “Getting as much of it as they can. That will be under the direction of the DEC.”
No impacts to nearby Flat Creek were observed, according to a DEC spokesperson. The state agency will monitor the site for any threat to public health or the environment.
“DEC will provide strict oversight of a comprehensive cleanup of the site, which will include excavation of impacted soil with off-site disposal and restoration of the impacted area,” the spokesperson stated.
Lindsay Meehan, public relations and creative marketing manager at Mirabito, was unfamiliar with the name of the contractor hired by the company to clean up the spill. Mirabito’s insurance company and the DEC typically coordinate and oversee those efforts, she said.
“The DEC really takes the lead on the cleanup and who does it and what is required to consider it cleaned up appropriately. We do what they ask of us,” Meehan said.
In addition to the ongoing investigation into the accident, Meehan said Mirabito will perform its own review.
“We don’t often have trucks in accidents like this,” Meehan said. “Our operation and safety team will take this very seriously. There is an ongoing investigation into what happened and we will follow up accordingly.”
The truck had just completed a delivery and was on its way to its next stop when the accident occurred, Meehan said. She was unfamiliar with the exact delivery locations.
“We take safety very seriously and are very thankful our driver is OK, that is most important to us,” Meehan said. “We will continue to work with the correct authorities to find out what happened and make sure it gets cleaned up correctly.”
Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.