A tractor-trailer hauling liquid asphalt flipped in Everson, Washington spilling the liquid asphalt into residential backyards around 4:45 a.m. on Thursday morning.
It was reported that the truck was carrying approximately 6,800 gallons/25,740 liters of liquid asphalt.
The truck was traveling on Everson Goshen Road, near Everson Elementary School. The truck is registered to Washington Trucking of Arlington and was on its way to British Columbia.
Two-thirds of the load was lost: both sides of the highway had to be closed.
The driver was hauling a 40-foot main trailer, as well as another 20-foot trailer behind the first. In the accident, only the larger trailer was ripped open, the second smaller trailer stayed upright. The heated asphalt then began to stream onto the roadway and into resident’s’ yards.
There were no reported breathing difficulties from those living nearby.
Chief Mel Blankers of Whatcom County Fire District 1 said, “It just smells like a freshly paved road.”
Scene of the Accident
According to the Bellingham Herald, “Impact of the crash tore the truck’s cab apart, sheering its roof as it came to rest on the driver’s side door.”
The driver, Kellen Botten, 27, was taken to the nearby hospital by an ambulance to be treated for minor injuries.
Everson Police Chief Dan McPhee stated that Botten had a cut on the back of his head. McPhee also cited Botten for negligent driving.
Residents of the area heard the crash and rushed outside to see what was the cause. Once they saw the flipped tanker, they pulled Botten from the cab.