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Dump Truck Involved in Elk Grove Tanker Truck Slurry Oil Spill

Tanker spills are a disaster in the ocean, but when they occur on land, they can create a big mess. Big rig operators need to be extra careful when towing another large truck or heavy equipment.

Oil Spill in Elk Grove

On Friday afternoon, a somewhat bizarre accident occurred in Elk Grove. A dump truck was towing a truck trailer holding an oil tanker truck. The tanker truck contained a slurry seal. The slurry is a thick, black and gooey substance that is used in paving roads and parking lots. It has the look and feels of something between oil and tar.

The dump truck hauling the trailer and tanker truck was making a left turn onto southbound Elk Grove-Florin Road from westbound Bond Road. As it made the turn onto Elk Grove-Florin Road, the trailer holding the tank truck rotated to the left and flipped over on its side. There were six other motorists in the northbound lanes of Elk Grove Boulevard had been stopped for the red light as the dump truck hauling the trailer and tanker made its turn.

When the tanker overturned, an unknown amount of slurry was spilled from the tanker. The slurry spill drenched the cars with the gooey black substance and left a slurry slick in the roadway. Motorists who had been waiting at the light had no chance to escape or react.  

Fortunately, there appear to be no physical injuries. The motorists sitting in their cars had them covered with slurry, making them impossible to drive with no visibility.

The motorist nearest to the tanker when it overturned had to get out of her car by exiting through the passenger side, stepping through the sticky goo on the roadway to reach safety.

It appears that property damage and loss of use of the cars will be the primary damages from the accident. It is unknown if the slurry can be effectively and safely removed, or whether there will be any permanent damage to the vehicles which cannot be repaired. It looks like the motorists will be out the use of their vehicles until they can be restored or replaced.

Use Caution When Operating a Tractor-Trailer

This incident is a reminder of how careful you need to be when towing other vehicles.

First, the operator needs to ensure whether the towing vehicle has the capacity in terms of size and weight, horsepower, braking power to handle towing the load.

Second, the operator needs to make sure the trailer is properly hooked and secured to the tractor to ensure that it doesn’t become separated or uncoupled during towing.

Third, the operator needs to make sure that the trailer and whatever it is carrying are properly loaded and balanced. If the trailer is not loaded properly, it is not properly balanced side to side, or if it is top-heavy, the trailer will not handle properly and may result in overturning. Many truck and trailer accidents occur not because of traffic conditions but because of failing to take care to load or secure the trailer properly.

The cause of this accident remains under investigation. However, the failure exercises ordinary care in the operation and towing of vehicles can result in serious injuries and damages to others. It is wise  therefore to take extra precautions when towing heavy objects to prevent any mishaps.

Photo by Curioso Photography from PexelsEditor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 4.6.20]
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