Truck driver blames GPS for tanker accident, chemical spill

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – An area in Williamsburg was evacuated following an accident Monday morning involving a semi truck that was hauling hazardous material.

Kentucky State Police say a tanker truck, carrying a highly flammable chemical, overturned after dropping off a bridge over railroad tracks on Buck Creek Road, just south of Williamsburg.

Investigators say the accident happened around 5:45 a.m.  KSP says the driver, 43-year old Valrey Laroche, of Marietta, Georgia, told investigators he got lost following the incorrect directions given out by his GPS.  They say he tried to turn the tanker truck around and that’s when it overturned on the bridge. He was headed to Richmond from Williamsburg at the time of the accident.

Whitley County Emergency Management says about 1,600 gallons of the chemical butyl acrylates spilled.  The chemcial is widely used in manufacturing and has a strong smell.

It’s unreal. It really is,” said Arthur Porter, neighbor.

Moses says the driver was able to get out of the semi safely before rescue crews arrived.

As a precaution, four homes in the area were evacuated, but families were able to return by Monday afternoon.

Hazmat crews cleaned up the spill, which was mostly on the railroad tracks, according to KSP.

The road was closed for several hours, but reopened Monday evening. No injuries were reported.

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