The south-bound lanes of US-59 in Leggett were shut down for around 7 hours on Friday.
Major Accident Causes Large Oil Spill, LEGGETT, September 18, 2010 - Shortly before 5 pm on September 17, 2010, white 2008 Ford F-450 driven by Robert Earl Shaffer, 55, of Spring was south-bound on US-59 in Leggett when he hit a patch of water and began to hydroplane. Shaffer was pulling a trailer that was loaded with a front end loader. Shaffer's truck and trailer hydroplaned into the north-bound lanes of 59 in a jack-knife position and slammed into a Freightliner 18 wheeler tractor trailer driven by Tommie Lee Criss, 46, of Memphis, Tennessee. The collision caused Criss' rig to also jack knife as both vehicles slid to rest partially in the center median. The collision blew open one of the large fuel tanks on Criss' rig spilling diesel all over the road. Additionally, Criss' engine was totaled and threw a huge amount of oil and transmission fluid all over the south-bound lanes, median, and shoulder of 59. Nobody was injured in the accident. The Livingston Volunteer Fire Department was summoned along with Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office and DPS Troopers Ramey Bass, Donny Akers, and Corporal Sam Lattner. Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Shine was also summoned to the scene of the accident. The entire south-bound side on 59 was closed down until 11 pm and traffic on both sides of 59 was rerouted to the shoulder of the north-bound side as north-bound and south-bound traffic had to take turns driving on the north-bound shoulder. Robert Shaffer was issued a citation for unsafe speed and both parties had insurance. A hazardous material cleanup crew out of Lufkin cleaned up the mess and spread ash on the road to neutralize the slick lubricants. Both vehicles were recovered by Riley Wrecker Service out of Corrigan where they will be stored.
Special thank you: Assistant Editor, Willie A. Openshaw
All the hoopla: A Ford F-450 pulling a gooseneck trailer with a backhoe hydroplaned and collided with an 18 wheeler causing the 18 wheeler to jack-knife.
Nobody was seriously hurt but one of the large fuel tanks on the 18 wheeler was blown open throwing diesel all over the south-bound lanes, the engine was totaled throwing oil everywhere and the transmission was totaled throwing transmission fluid everywhere.
The oil, transmission fluid and diesel combined to make a huge spill all over the south-bound lanes (note drainage area filled with the toxic mixture).
Storm drainage channel filled with toxic mixture
The large spill was spread at around 100 yards.
Trooper Ramey Bass (right) is the investigating Officer. Also pictured is Corporal Sam Lattner (both with the Texas Highway Patrol).
Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Shine was summoned.
This Dodge Truck was pulling a gooseneck trailer and also jack-knifed when it hit the slick part of the road immediately after the original accident occurred.
The Livingston Volunteer Fire Department assisted in cleanup.
If you would like to comment on this story, we'd love to hear from you. Your name will be listed with your comment when it's posted in the Letters to the editor.