While asphalt is normally a good thing to have on the road, a recent traffic accident involved amounts of road tar that most graciously can be described as “excessive.”
Occurring around 2 a.m. on October 11 in Pennsylvania’s Armstrong County, the accident closed the on-ramp between route 422 and routes 22/66. Emergency team response was described as good and no one was seriously injured. Still, as of the afternoon of October 11, the traffic situation remained unresolved because of the tractor-trailer’s sticky cargo — a massive supply of liquid asphalt. The sludgy mix has been pouring onto the road nonstop ever since the wreck, and it is proving very difficult to clean up.
Cleanup crews have responded by pouring a truly massive amount of sand onto the asphalt in an effort to soak it up. Nearly 1,000 gallons of the stuff was spilled, and it has become unpredictable. What’s worse, according to officials, is that the asphalt is near a major drain that helps siphon water off the roadway. There doesn’t appear to be any contamination at the moment, but officials are concerned that the next major rain in the area could wash the sand and asphalt mix into the drainage system. The exact impact that this could have is as yet unclear.
The driver of the vehicle, one Stephen Ellis, was trapped in his tractor-trailer for several hours following the accident until rescue workers could cut him loose. He was immediately taken to a local hospital for evaluation, but has been reported in stable and good condition. Ellis lost control of his vehicle for reasons unknown, rolling it over and leading to the massive spill. Given the hour of the accident, it is possible that exhaustion played a part in the loss of control and the cause of the accident. No mention has been made to any suspicion of DUI.