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Trucking Company Is Billed For Clean-up, Hazmat, and Towing

10:31 PM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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Winston-Salem, NC-- News 2 investigates who covers the cost of a major wreck like an overturned truck that shuts down a highway.

Finding alternate routes in the Triad has become common thanks to the many overturned trucks during the past month.

On March 8th, all lanes of I-85 were closed near exit 84 in Davidson County. In Greensboro, North Carolina DOT dealt with another flipped tractor-trailer on March 19th. It overturned on Business I-85 near the I-40 split. Another truck overturned that was carrying 7,500 gallons of fuel on March 27th. On April 9th, a truck overturned on Highway 52 in Winston-Salem.

For clean-up crews, an overturned truck can be 12 hours of work and in less than a day, they spend tens of thousands of dollars.

Battalion Chief, Charlie Hampton with the Winston-Salem Fire Department has responded to many major wrecks. Fire crews are first on scene to assess the damage.

"What are they carrying? Are they carrying a flammable liquid? Are they carrying a gas? Are they just carrying regular boxes that are going to a Walmart store, something of that nature?," said Chief Hampton.

On Tuesday morning, ten Winston-Salem fire fighters were tied up with the tractor-trailer.

"Had this been a tanker truck hauling 8,000 gallons of gasoline, then I'm sure our manpower and resources would have been a lot more than that. We could have been talking close to 30 people depending on the time out there," added Chief Hampton.

If there is a major leak, fire crews try to contain it before it gets into the storm drains or waterways. Then, they'll call in hazmat crews or additional cleanup crews. They always need a towing company.

The fire department told News 2, clean-up from Tuesday's truck accident could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. When there are hazardous materials spilled, it could cost between $20,000 and $30,000.

So who pays? If you think it's the taxpayer, this time you're wrong.

The trucking company is billed for the cleanup, hazmat, and towing.

Our tax dollars might not pay for it, but we do lose the firefighters who are tied up for hours. However, Chief Hampton told us that doesn't jeopardize other calls. 

WFMY News 2

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