Tanker accident claims one life

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2003

A man was killed Monday afternoon when the gas tanker he was driving left the road and overturned near the Timberlake subdivision during a rain storm on the Point A Road between Gantt and River Falls.

According to Covington County Sheriff Anthony Clark, the accident occurred after 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.

"I don't know the exact time, but it was between 3 and 3:30 p.m.," Clark said. "When the truck overturned, the tank began leaking a small amount prohibiting extrication of the victim until all gasoline could be off-loaded and the scene secured. We have to believe the weather was a factor. We've had some pretty good showers today and this road can get slippery when it's wet."

Several emergency responders responded to the scene of the accident including the Covington County Sheriff's Department, River Falls Fire Department, Gantt Rescue Squad and Fire Department, Alabama State Troopers and others.

To assist with the situation, Rhett Butler Trucking was providing a tanker truck to help off-load the petroleum from the overturned vehicle, belonging to Mathews Petroleum.

"Rhett Butler is sending a truck and they're going to try and remove the gas from the overturned tanker," Clark said. "It's going to take a while and it's a very hazardous situation."

To assist with the clean-up and recovery efforts, Point A Road was closed to thru traffic while crews continued to work on scene.

"Once the gasoline is removed from the tanker and the situation secure, crews will be able to begin the extrication process," Clark said. "The weather's not cooperating, and it's going to be a long process."

The name of the victim has not been officially released pending notification of next of kin, and the accident remains under investigation.