Tanker Truck Wreck Leads To Oil Spill Near Lake Palestine

Authorities were dealing with a potential catastrophe. Police say the driver of an eighteen wheeler lost control and rolled a tanker containing 5400 gallons of crude oil onto the East Texas roadside less than a mile from Lake Palestine.

Emergency crews were called out shortly after eleven Friday morning. The Tyler HAZMAT team was on scene first to try and prevent further damage.

Bob Algood, Captain with Tyler HAZMAT, said their primary mission was "to stop the spread. I try to find out how far it's gone towards any water supply, anything like that, and try to confine it, contain it to that one spot where it doesn't cause any environmental damage."

The flow path of the spill was determined and then dammed, and bulldozers brought in to ensure the spill would be contained. With the crash site so close to the lake, extra precaution was taken.

Several factors aided in the containment. The oil was a type used in laying asphalt, so the very thickness of oil helped to slow its own flow. A possible rainstorm that would have quickly spread the damage also held off.

With the environmental damage minimized, the oil clean-up will be next. The trucking company, D. L. Coates, will be financially responsible for the clean-up.