Tanker crash shuts down 64

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 5/16/18

Polk County emergency responders were joined by regional and state crews Tuesday evening at the scene of a hazardous accident on Highway 64.A tanker truck plunged into the Ocoee River …

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Tanker crash shuts down 64

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Polk County emergency responders were joined by regional and state crews Tuesday evening at the scene of a hazardous accident on Highway 64.

A tanker truck plunged into the Ocoee River Tuesday, and halted traffic over Highway 64 overnight. It was impacting morning commuters today as well.

According to the Polk County dispatch this morning, both lanes of traffic are closed until further notice. Traffic is being detoured on Highway 64 at Highway 314, and at 64 and Boyd's Gap.

The dispatcher said recovery efforts are continuing this morning.

The tanker was carrying 8,000 gallons of fuel (4,000 gasoline and 4,000 diesel) when it plunged through a guardrail and into the river Tuesday afternoon.

The driver of the tanker, Glenn Morris of Hixson, was able to extricate himself from the crash with minor injuries. He was treated by emergency personnel at the scene.

The mishap spilled hundreds of gallons of fuel into the river, creating a hazmat situation in the waterway.

Responders to the crash scene attached cables to the overturned tanker for stabilization, and placed a boom in the river in an effort to control the fuel spill.

The roadway was quickly shut down, and traffic was detoured along U.S. 411 north, and State Highway 68 south.

Information concerning the accident was confirmed by the Polk County dispatch, and commuters were urged to take alternate routes to and from the area. No timeline was available this morning for when the roadway would be reopened.

The accident occurred between  mile markers 11 and 12.

Responders included West and East Polk County Fire and Rescue, the Polk County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Steve Ross, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Transportation, and a representative of Morris' trucking company.

According to reports, rescue workers prioritized the attempt to pull the truck out of the river, and clean up the fuel spill.

West Polk Volunteer firefighter Ray Stewart said there were more than a half dozen wreckers on the scene Tuesday night, attempting to right the truck. 

Fuel cleanup was expected to go faster once the truck is removed.



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