In the morning hours of February 10th, a big rig trying to make a U-turn outside of Emmerson’s Food Mart on State Highway 57 caused a potentially dangerous oil spill. The 18-wheeler snagged the awning above the gas pumps, knocking one over. The overall damage caused by this mere snag is staggering. Approximately 150 gallons of diesel fuel spilled out onto the parking lot and ditch area of the gas station. Almost 30 gallons of super unleaded gasoline also spilled from the pumps.
Haz-mat crews spent the morning cleaning up the mess. Although no drinking water was contaminated and no roads were obstructed, the gasoline traveled downhill into a drainage ditch and small fish were killed.
Unfortunately the driver did not stop after the accident but continued onto the highway. As reported by the Shreveport Times on their website:
Surveillance video gave detectives a clear view of the truck involved. It had a red cab with a white box trailer with the words “MegaTrux” on the side. The rig sustained damage to its driver’s side, the video showed. based on that, deputies contacted the company that owns the rig to track it down. The truck was located just outside of Birmingham, Ala., and should be returned to the area later today for crime scene analysis and the arrest of the driver, whose name has not yet been released.
The Hazardous Material and Explosives Control Unit (Haz Mat) of Louisiana is required by law to respond to and investigate all chemical emergencies that occur in the state. Even though no one was injured in this spill, the fact that Haz Mat was involved shows that it could have been a very dangerous situation. Chemicals like diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline can harm land, animal life, and people. The effects of exposure to some chemicals may not surface for years.
Should claimants come forward, a variety of defendants may be named as responsible for whatever harm was caused by this spill. These can include, but would not be limited to, the owner of the truck, the trucking line (should they be merely the licensed company hiring truckers), the driver himself and others. If the awning was sagging or was a known issue to the owner of the station, they may also be named though it is unclear if this is a factor in the case.
If a chemical substance has made you sick you may have a claim for damages.
The Berniard Law Firm will help protect your rights.