By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Newman Road was closed down last week for about seven hours. Shortly before 10:30 a.m. on October 28, a diesel fuel tanker slid off the road just south of Mill Pond Drive, ending up on its passenger side in a ditch on the east side of the roadway.
Thankfully, the driver, a 64-year-old Clarkston man, was able to the remove himself from the truck before emergency crews responded and was unharmed.
The truck, which read “Thompson Oil” on the side, is owned by the Roseville-based Spencer Oil Company, who is the parent company of Thompson Oil.
In his statement to Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies, the driver said his back tires started to slide off the embankment when he came around the corner, resulting in the truck rolling over.
Authorities determined excessive speed to be the cause of the mishap, not the road conditions or any obstruction in the truck’s path, and, in accordance with department policy, the driver was issued a citation.
The Oxford Fire Department and Oakland County Hazardous Materials Response Team both arrived at the scene to offer their assistance.
Carrying approximately 1,526 gallons of diesel fuel and 421 gallons of gasoline, removing the truck from the ditch presented a difficult task.
Thompson Oil Co.’s Supervisor, John Kutsoginis, responded to the scene and made arrangements for the Oscar W. Larson Fuel Company, headquartered at 10100 Dixie Highway in Clarkston, to pump out the fuel from the tanker before it was overturned.
Once this was accomplished, Pontiac’s Adlers Towing, who specializes in handling heavy equipment, was able to retrieve the truck from the ditch shortly before 5 p.m.
The following day, Thursday, October 29, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) returned to the scene to gather soil samples to determine if there was any possible damage to the area.
By Teddy Rydquist