Evacuation Lifted After Gasoline Tanker Spill; Roads Opening Back Up

A tanker spill creating a potentially explosive situation in Lake County.

Roads are opening up after a car accident spilled hundreds of gallons of unleaded gasoline onto the roads.

US-10 and M-37 have been closed since 11 am this morning and after an all-day effort to clean up leaking fuel, they are back open.

The Webber Township Fire Chief says a semi gasoline tanker and an SUV hit each other throwing the tanker driver from the vehicle.

Both drivers made it out with minor injuries but residents living near the spill were evacuated.

“We don’t know if anything at this point of who was at fault, who hit who, because of the gasoline there’s a lot of things we have to consider and precautionary steps and clean up and so forth so the DEQ has been contacted,” said Lake County Sheriff, Richard Martin.

The crash closed both lanes on M-37 and US-10. People living a half mile away were told to evacuate and head to the township hall because of the gasoline fumes.

Robert Birdsall lives close to the spill and was told to evacuate. “We live about a quarter of a mile from the accident zone and next thing we know the fire captain comes down telling us we need to evacuate they had a tanker roll over, and as soon as we could get out we had to get out

The Webber Township Fire Department Chief, Aaron Summers, says at least 100 hundred gallons of gasoline spilled, even becoming a hazard to the responders on scene.

“We had three firefighters with heat exhaustion and one was exposed to the fumes from the unleaded gas on the ground so all of three of them were checked out by EMS and one was sent home,” said Summers.

The Department of Environmental Quality was called to check the area. The fuel from the spilled fuel tanker was transferred to another tanker. Summers thinks there won’t be severe environmental damage.

“Being that we have a lot of sand here I think that helps us quite a bit, no streams or lake were really close so I think if I had to say if it happened in a good spot, this is a better spot than others,” said Summers.

Both drivers were sent to the hospital and we are told they are in stable condition.