HAMPSHIRE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A tanker carrying 8,000 gallons of oil overturned after rolling off a Maury County road early Monday morning.
McClanahan Road was shut down to drivers at Highway 412 near Mt. Pleasant and Hampshire after the accident. It wasn’t expected to reopen until 6 p.m.
Officials said the truck was headed to the Columbia Gulf Transmission Facility in Hampshire, but a new driver from out of state let his GPS guide him down a road not designed for such a large truck.
Authorities on scene told News 2 the back wheels ran off the road causing the load shift and sending the tanker down a ravine.
Luckily, the driver was not hurt and the toxic load did not leak from the tanker.
HAZMAT crews shut down the road and put down absorbent material down just in case there was a breech to protect a pond a short distance from the wreck.
“We have roads closed and school buses rerouted; there is a lot to this,” said Deputy Director of Emergency Management, Mark Gandee.
Officials at the facility told News 2 the truck does not belong to them and the driver is not employed by them. They said the tractor-trailer was contracted from an outside firm.
Investigators at the scene told News 2 the driver was out of Illinois and had never made this run before.
“I would say it is a lot of things combined into one that caused this accident, it was dark, the driver didn’t know the road and the GPS issue,” said Columbia fire Captain Nick Brown.
Gandee said this is the fourth time that a vehicle has been directed up this road and has run into problems.
“This happens across our county on a daily basis,” he said. “We have schools that have hazmat trucks arriving daily. We are working with the vendors for GPS to get that one little address corrected.”
The county road supervisor, Van Boshers, told News 2, there is no way to put up signs all over the county where drivers might take bad routes due to GPS coordinates.
“If there is any way possible carry your old time maps, keep them updated, and pre-plan your routes,” said Gandee.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck. Whether or not the driver will be cited is unknown.
Cost of cleanup, closing the road, and removing the wreck could be passed on to the company involved.