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Semi topples into Weber River, spills diesel fuel

Published: Friday, Sept. 13 2013 9:30 a.m. MDT

A semitrailer filled with powdered cement rolled into the Weber River around 5 a.m. Friday. It began leaking diesel fuel. Eighty tons of cement will need to be pumped out from the trailers before they are removed from the vehicle.

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CROYDON, Morgan County — Diesel fuel leaked into the Weber River on Friday from a truck that rolled into an upstream creek.

Around 5 a.m., a 65-year-old man driving a semitrailer picked up cement at the Holcim cement plant, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Jared Hayes. The plant is located in Devil's Slide, just outside of Croydon.

The truck was heading east on I-84 when the driver became distracted.

"He failed to negotiate a corner when he reached over to put some medication away under his feet," Hayes said.

The rig left the roadway to the driver's left, causing the trailer and pup trailer that was filled with cement powder land on their sides in Lost Creek, 150 yards away from the Weber River.

Most alarming was news that the truck had a full tank of gas.

"The biggest concern that we have is the 200 gallons of diesel that is leaking," Hayes said at the time.

An environmental group from Kearns Towing put up materials to either catch or slow down the flow of diesel fuel to reduce the amount that entered the river.

Meanwhile, crews' first priority was disconnecting the tractor from the attached trailers so they could remove it from the river and prevent further leakage.

The truck lost between 20 and 50 gallons of fuel before the cab was pulled from the river, Hayes said, though troopers originally feared as much as 150 gallons had been lost.

The vehicle's two trailers remained in the river into the afternoon while a pump truck out of Salt Lake City helped crews remove 80 tons of powdered cement. Once that was done, enough weight had been removed to get the trailers out of the water.

The driver escaped the incident with "only a couple of scrapes and bruises on his face," Hayes said.

Email: wevans@deseretnews.com

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