Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr., (D), sent a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board yesterday, requesting the agency investigate the May 9, 2013, tanker crash on the Interstate 81 overpass at Route 22/322.
The crash shut down the highway for days. The overpass is expected to be shut down for three to six months while crews work to make repairs. The repair bill will likely reach $10 million, ABC 27 reported.
In the letter to the NTSB, Casey stated that the crash and the subsequent highway closing affected thousands of commuters and even impacted the local economy.
“Moreover, this accident caused over 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel to be spilled into wetlands near the crash site and harmed wildlife and ecosystems,” Casey wrote.
The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the accident. So far, no charges have been filed against the driver of the tanker, 52-year-old Thomas Uecker.
Casey said a closer investigation into the cause of the crash is necessary to help identify and prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.
“Interstate 81 is a key part of Pennsylvania’s economy and it’s critical to find all the answers,” Casey said. “An investigation by the NTSB could help increase awareness about risks along I-81 and provide more details on how this accident occurred.”