Local News

Spill Cleanup Still Hinders Northbound U.S. 301

Posted March 6, 2008 11:14 a.m. EST
Updated March 6, 2008 11:49 a.m. EST

— The state Highway Patrol reported Thursday morning that both northbound lanes of U.S. Highway 301 remain partially closed while cleanup continues from a fuel spill.

About 6,000 gallons of gasoline gushed out of a Wilco Transportation truck early Wednesday morning and splattered across the road, soaked into the median and swirled in a nearby creek.

The truck, driven by 60-year-old Rudy Stout, was headed north on Highway 301 when it veered off the road, just north of N.C. Highway 581 between Lucama and Kenly.

Stout was taken to Pitt Memorial Hospital. No new information was available about his condition Thursday.

Firefighters sprayed foam on the road to contain the spill. Wilco officials hired a private company to clean up the fuel, which officials said could take days to fully clean.

"They'll excavate this and get it back to 100 percent," said Wilco Transportation Risk Manager Dan McCormick. "You'll never know an accident happened, except for that scar on that pine."

Approximately 60 people from emergency crews in three counties responded to the scene when the crash was first reported.

"Gas is very explosive, and you run the risk of having very intense fires," said Gordon Deano with Wilson County Emergency Management. "That's the reason foam was laid down. That's the reason we closed the highway."