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Diesel fuel spill snarls traffic

By Staff
CLEANING UP n Robert Miller leads the way as a city crew shovels sand to absorb a diesel spill that shut down North Hills Street for more than two hours Thursday morning. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 29, 2000
A six-mile long diesel fuel spill stalled traffic on North Hills Street for more than two hours Thursday and officers suspect it may have been the culprit in a one-car accident.
Officer Reid Campbell said 25-year-old Michael Snowden of 6984 J.O. Thomas Road, Toomsuba, was traveling southbound on Highway 39 North behind an 18-wheeler that was leaking diesel fuel when he applied his breaks, lost control, flipped over and landed rightside up in a water-filled ditch.
The accident occurred near the Highway 39 intersection with Old Marion Road about 9:30 a.m.
The leak, which stretched from from North Hills Street at Poplar Springs Drive to where the accident occurred, was discovered when Senior Patrolman Ricky Roberts received a call to the accident but couldn't drive there because his car was sliding "all over North Hills Street."
Welborn said he stationed officers along the southbound lane of Highway 39 North to warn motorists about the spill and advise them to drive slowly and carefully, using the left lane only.
State crews spread sand over the southbound lanes of Highway 39 North from trucks. In the cold and pouring rain, city crews spent about two and a half hours using shovels to hand spread the red sand from a dump truck while bulldozers leveled sand piles behind them.
Welborn said the leaking 18-wheeler was discovered broken down near the scene of the Highway 39 North accident. The driver had been to Foodmax on North Hills Street to make a delivery.
The cause of the leak was unknown.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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