Drivers face sticky situation after hot oil spill near Washougal - KPTV - FOX 12

Drivers face sticky situation after hot oil spill near Washougal

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To say the traffic on SR-14 near Washougal was a sticky situation Tuesday morning may have been an understatement.

Several thousand gallons of hot oil spilled on the roadway when a tanker truck hit the guard rail, flipped its load and kept going, finally stopping a football field's length away.

Richard Duncan and his friends came around a corner and drove into the mess. The three men said they were headed to work and fortunately not driving fast as they came up behind the spill.

Duncan said it was scary when their vehicle lost control and bounced off of the guardrail, adding that the men had to then try to avoid the spill again when trying to get out of the car.

"It was pretty slippery and stick at the same time, if that makes sense, so we weren't able to stop when we hit it,” he said. "We had to jump out of the car. The first guy out lost his shoe, so the other guy and I had to climb out through the roof and jump over."

Luckily none of the three men were injured, though the Audi they were in is a different story. The heat of the oil was evident on the melted headlights and the dried tar splattered on nearly every inch of the vehicle.

The oil dried thick on the road, too, but not before oozing off the side of the embankment, sending out the Washington Department of Ecology to check out the scene.

"They will excavate all of the impacted area, the contaminated soil, and then take soil samples to confirm that they got it all," Ben Cornell with the Washington Department of Ecology explained.

An investigation found the oil did not spread to any streams or rivers, but the trucking company will have to foot the bill to clean up the mess.

The Washington State Patrol is investigating the crash and said the truck driver will be cited, saying they believe he was driving too fast for his load. There is a detour in place around the scene on SR-14 that could add several minutes to drivers’ trips in the area.

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