HazMat workers from Etoile are in Lufkin cleaning up what's left of last week's diesel spill near Whitehouse Drive. The smell of fuel in that area is strong, but people who live and work nearby have nothing to worry about.
DLS Environmental HazMat Chief Richard Lenius said, "The unfortunate characteristic of diesel fuel is that it has a nuisance odor, and the smell is unpleasant. However, it's not carcinogenic. There's no health hazard present at this time. The only hazards are environmental, and those areas we have focused on."
Around 3 a.m. last Friday, a Love's fuel delivery truck was headed north on Highway 59. The big rig crossed over the median, hit a ditch, and ended up in the southbound lane, crashing head-on into a Greyhound bus, spilling 7,600 of diesel fuel everywhere.
"We've removed all the product from the stream," said Lenius. "Most of the land around the [area] has been excavated and that soil has been disposed of, also. We've came back with fresh backfill and put new grass down to make it to pre-accident conditions. The trucking company has been very supportive in trying to make things right with the landowner [and] the City of Lufkin. They've done everything possible to make this situation right."
Authorities believe the tanker driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel just before the crash. The cleanup is almost done, except for a few minor details.
All the diesel fuel that spilled was pumped into an air-tight bin and will be properly disposed of at an environmentally safe site in Houston.
No passengers were on board the bus hit by the truck. Both drivers are recovering from their injuries.
Love's trucking company is responsible for every penny spent on the cleanup. So far, the estimated cost is less than $500,000.