Local News

Fatal Accident Results in Fuel Spill near Princeton

Posted January 6, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— At about 7:20 Tuesday morning, a Seven Springs woman in a blue Oldsmobile pulled out from a side road onto US Highway 70, hit a mud-filled pothole, lost control, and collided with a tanker truck carrying 7,900 gallons of JP-5 jet fuel. The tanker overturned in the driver's effort to avoid hitting the car.

At top left is all that's left of 61-year-old Dorothy Gansheimer's car. She was killed instantly. Princeton firefighter Ken Starling said at noon that the woman's body was still in the vehicle.

The tanker, which belongs to Kenan Transport of Chapel Hill, spilled its cargo, and the road was closed until crews can clean the roadway. That was expected to be completed by 2 p.m. The Princeton fire marshal said there was no evidence of environmental damage caused by the spill.

Area residents Glenn Grice says a construction zone in the area has contributed to a series of accidents and near-misses in the past three years.

Trucks are frequently entering the road in a section near a curve. Motorists on Highway 70 often don't anticipate the slow trucks in their path.

Heavy fog is believed to have been a contributing factor in Tuesday's accident. There was only a quarter-mile visibility at that time.

Photographer:Keith Baker