(Host) A fuel delivery truck veered off Route 30 and into the West River this morning near the Newfane Brookline town line.
The driver of the vehicle was thrown from the truck and pinned under the cab in the river, according to State Police Lieutenant Rick Hopkins:
(Hopkins) “It was a local oil delivery truck. It had 2,500 gallons of low sulfur diesel on it. The operator was an Ed Lashua. He was killed in the accident. Basically he just slowly went off the road. So he’s traveling north, so he just slowly went off to his right trough the guard rails and the vehicle rolled at least once into the river.”
(Host) The 31-year old Lashua was a Guilford Resident. Police say they still don’t know what caused him to drift into the guard rail.
Police say about 100 gallons of fuel spilled into the West river through a small hole in the cargo hold. Emergency responders set up absorbent booms across the river in three places.
David Balk is an environmental consultant for the truck’s owner, Barrows & Fisher Oil. He believes there will be little or no long-term impact from the spill.
(Balk) “There is some residual sheen that is going to be going through the booms that won’t be picked up, but will be picked up with these booms or a series of booms that are down the river.”
(Host) Late this afternoon the truck remained on its side in the river, about 40 feet down a steep embankment. The vehicle was held in place by cables while tanker trucks on the road above pumped the remaining oil out.
The Vermont hazmat team, Brattleboro Fire and Dive team and the Vermont Department of Environmental conservation were among the many agencies that responded to the accident.
Route 30 is expected to remain closed between Brookline and Newfane until at least 7 o’clock.