Slippery conditions for interstate drivers

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A truck hauling waste oil left a slippery trail this morning for some eight miles between Westlake and Sulphur. A few drivers found themselves sliding around, but there are no reports of wrecks or injuries.

It was just before 10 a.m. when Westlake police started getting calls. There was something slippery on the roadway and it went from near the Conoco refinery south and then west to I-10 and Sulphur. Explains Assistant Westlake Police Chief Briggs Becton, "The slippery substance began around Guillory Street in Sulphur Avenue and continued eastbound on to Sampson, then south on Sampson to the service road and then west on the service road to I-10."

That's about eight miles, but the heaviest part of the spill was apparently in Westlake.  Says Becton, "We had a lot of reports from various people who were driving their vehicles, their vehicles were slipping on the roadways, some slid off the road, slid sideways on the roadway. We don't have any reports of injuries at this time or no major wrecks as a result of it."

The truck hauling waste oil belonged to Miller Environmental Services and had an unsecured valve on top of the tank. State Police shut the truck down near the Ruth Street exit in Sulphur where more leaked on the shoulder. "It was an 18 wheeler. It belonged to Miller Environmental Services. They indicated that they had left the hatch open on top when it was turning it was sloshing up, out and running down the sides of the 18 wheeler."

State highway workers put sand on areas where needed and all lanes were open again by 11:21 a.m. Officials with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality say Miller cleaned up the area on the shoulder of the road.

State Police issued a citation for leaking hazardous materials. After the valve on the truck was secured it was allowed to continue on to its destination: a waste oil reclamation plant in Houston.

DEQ officials are still investigating to determine if they will take any enforcement action against the company.

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