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Recovery from Semi-trailer Fuel Truck Incident at Augusta Canal

Recovery from Semi-trailer Fuel Truck Incident at Augusta Canal

The crashing of the trailer filled with fuel took place at 1 am, in the morning of 11th December. The vehicle was being driven by Eshmon West, who fell asleep while driving the truck. The truck crashed through the guardrail and fell into the water, causing fuel leakage. The area, I – 20, is used daily by 50,000 vehicles, out of which 7000 are trucks, reported by Georgia Department of Transportation. The bridge structure was closely examined to ensure its safety. For repairing the damage caused by the truck, Georgia District Bridge Shop and Everette Wadley reached the site quickly.

After noting that the only damage to the bridge was at the decking area, the water damage was taken into consideration as the fuel spill took place in it. The crews were needed to get the truck out of the water to avoid any further problem. Augusta Utilities stopped the pumping of water into the system to avoid any kind of health hazards as they were worried that the fuel may have entered the drinking water lines. Tom Wiedmeier, Augusta Utilities Director said, “They know anything that could jeopardize the water supply, they shut down.”

The teams also arranged the fuel check, to look for any fuel traces which was not found. Wiedmeier explained, “What we hope is that we can keep it contained and either absorbs it with the booms or we’ve got a vacuum unit here where we can vacuum it off the surface of the water”.

The reopening of the lanes was scheduled after all the emergency repair work is completed on the day of accident at 5:30 pm. The driver was taken to the Georgia Regents Medical Centre to provide medical treatment for serious injuries. He was discharged on Sunday evening after being treated over the weekend. For repairing the damaged bridge, Georgia Department of Transportation shut the traffic of one lane. Rebecca Rogers, who was Augusta Canal Authority spokeswoman, stated that they lowered the water level for the recovery of the truck.

This is not the first accident that took place over Augusta Canal Bridge. It was the 4th time in 4 years that a semi-truck has fallen into the canal. A truck driver from Georgia was killed in the accident in the September of 2011, when his truck fell in the canal. In August 2012, a truck driver from South Carolina happened to fall off the same bridge, but survived by swimming to the shore. A drunk truck driver, in June 2014, was also killed in the accident on the same road. – See more at:

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