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Overturned gas truck continues to cause delays in Highland County

Crash happened shortly before 7:45 a.m.

The tanker was carrying over 9,000 gallons of fuel when it crashed.
The tanker was carrying over 9,000 gallons of fuel when it crashed.

HIGHLAND COUNTY, Va. – Crews are on the scene of a tanker spill on US-220 in Highland County, authorities said.

The crash happened at 7:44 a.m. when a tractor-trailer hauling 9,000 gallons fuel overturned into the Jackson River in the 8000 block of Jackson River Road in Highland County, according to Virginia State Police.

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Tractor-trailer overturned on US 220 in Highland County on Feb. 26, 2021.

The driver was not hurt and a Hazmat team is now at the crash scene..

Police said the tanker is no longer leaking fuel.

But according to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, fuel was spotted more than four miles downstream of the crash site.

DEQ also said half of the tanker load was lost in the Jackson River.

First Sergeant Anthony Nicely with Virginia State Police said an extra tanker will extract the remaining fuel from the one rolled over.

“They’ll have to drill the tank off load it and then will have to get the trailer up and over the embankment and loaded on to something because all the tires are down,” he said.

As of 11 a.m., the road will be closed to northbound for about four to six hours.

State Police said that the curve where this happened is known to be a problem spot as other vehicle had also gone into the river there.

“We have issues here fairly frequently. Where vehicles have wounded up in the river similar to what you see here.”

With the 96-mile-long river flowing through several counties, Nicely says special equipment is being brought in to separate the gas from the waterway.

About the Authors:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.

Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.