Tanker Wreck Sends One To The Med

MARKED TREE (KAIT) It is a testament to survival and lots of luck.

Cpl. Scott McLaughlin, ASP "We had a one vehicle accident involving a semi tanker truck. Vehicle was traveling northbound and lost control and rolled into the access road."

The tanker was loaded with thousands of gallons of diesel and gasoline when it left the road just past the Highway 75 over pass.

The truck operated by Penn Tank Lines left Highway 63 and rolled over at least once trapping the driver 44 year-old Billy Hefner inside the remnants of the cab.

It took units and volunteers from Marked Tree and Tyronza fire departments almost two hours to free Hefner from the cab of his truck.

He was conscious and able to communicate with his rescuers.

With assistance from Riverside Ambulance Hefner was stabilized and transported to the Med in Memphis by Air- Evac helicopter.

The tank itself had cracked on the bottom side near the cab and the middle tank filler cover had loosened in the accident.

These two openings allowed a large amount of diesel to leak onto the ground.

Of course with any kind of fuel spill it now becomes a problem in environmental clean up.

Frank Kraft, Poinsett County, OEM, "The company is going to send out some one to clean it up all the ground and everything that is over there will have to be dug up and replaced with new dirt. Then the haz-mat team will take care of it and get rid of all the debris."

Hepaco of Memphis first drained the remaining diesel out of the forward tank.

The tanker was brought back upright and the remainder of the fuel was transferred to another tanker.

The company will then vacuum up the pool of diesel, remove the soil to a landfill, test and refill where the contaminated soil was removed.

The driver is listed in serious condition at the Med in Memphis.

No cause for the accident is known at this time, the ASP is still investigating.