The tanker truck wrecked in the 3000 block of Botetourt Road.
Submitted Photo
By Aila Boyd

A tanker truck that was carrying 8,500 gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline wrecked in the 3000 block of Botetourt Road last Wednesday morning during a winter storm, causing significant damage to the road.

The estimated cost to repair the damaged portion of the road is between $250,000 and $300,000, as reported by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Jen Ward explained that typically payment for such repairs involve insurance settlements with trucking companies.

According to a press release issued by the Botetourt County Department of Fire and EMS, local fire and EMS units responded to a call that came in at 6:24 a.m. The truck was eventually fully engulfed in flames.

“When the crews got there, they were faced with quite a task,” Jason Ferguson, chief of fire and EMS for Botetourt County, said.

The driver of the truck was able to free himself.

Ferguson said that the gasoline explosion was “pretty large” and that flames reached over 50 feet into the air.

“Those first few moments on the scene were vital to lifesaving measures,” he said.


The tanker truck wrecked in the 3000 block of Botetourt Road.
Submitted Photo

Fuel from the tanker that was burning spilled into a culvert in the median on 220 and into a storm drain. In order to contain the scene, both directions of 220 were shut down.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality were on hand to deal with the spilled fuel.

The two departments requested that anyone who has livestock near the tributary of Catawba Creek should avoid letting the livestock directly interact with the water. If a visible sheen covers the water, they warned, keep the livestock away.

Ferguson explained that five farmers were affected by the spill.

A report is expected this week to determine whether or not the water is safe for livestock.

According to Ferguson, over 20 staff members, both volunteer and career, from Botetourt County Fire and EMS, Fincastle, Eagle Rock, and Troutville volunteer fire departments responded to the wreck.