West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – A tractor trailer truck wrecked at the exit ramp on I-26 east right at the Augusta Road closing that ramp early Thursday morning. The truck accident happened at approximately 4:20 a.m.
According to the truck’s driver, he had a large amount of diesel fuel in his saddle tanks. Those were damaged in the collision. Fuel began to leak out onto the interstate’s surface and spread downhill. One of the first arriving West Columbia police officers said there was, “A lot of fuel already on the ground and the tanks are still leaking.”
The West Columbia Fire Department had been dispatched at the first report of the wreck. Because of the leaking fuel, their ladder truck and battalion chief were added to the response just before their first crew arrived. West Columbia’s battalion chief requested that hazardous material trucks from Lexington County respond as his personnel were distributing absorbent material they had on their trucks across the spill. Once the haz-mat crew arrived, an effort was made to plug the leaking fuel tank so that additional diesel wouldn’t continue to spill on the ground. The truck’s owner will eventually be responsible for cleaning up the leaked fuel and any saturated absorbent material that was used to soak up the leaking diesel.
The SC Highway Patrol eventually responded. There was also an ambulance from Lexington County EMS on scene. The troopers are in charge of controlling the traffic on the interstate, and law enforcement was sending motorists who needed to exit at Augusta Road down to another ramp that was being used as a detour. A heavy wrecker was also requested so that the crashed truck could be cleared away as soon as possible.
Firefighters were leaving the scene shortly after 5:30 a.m. It will be the responsibility of law enforcement officers to stay on the scene and deal with the traffic until the truck is hauled away.