It took hours for crews to clean up after a tanker truck hauling thousands of gallons of fuel rolled down an embankment on Highway 54 Wednesday.
Michael C. Cotton, 41, of Eldon, was moderately injured in an accident about 1:55 p.m. July 24 on Highway 54 a mile west of Highway 52 south of Eldon. He was taken by ambulance to Capital Region Hospital in Jefferson City for treatment.
The accident occurred as the Mertens fuel tanker truck had a mechanical failure — possibly a tire blowout — and the driver lost control. The truck traveled off the roadway, and down an embankment. The tanker was carrying 4,500 gallons of fuel.
Traffic on westbound Highway 54 west of the Eldon/Tuscumbia exit was restricted to one lane for several hours due to the accident.
Several tankers of water were used in the cleanup. A hazmat team from Cole County was called to the scene. Crews were still on the scene at 8:30 p.m. attempting to remove the truck and clear the area. The fuel on the tanker was transferred to another semi. Once that was done, the damaged tanker was turned upright and towed.
Assisting were the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Miller County Sheriff's Department, Miller County Fire Department, Miller County EMS, Eldon Fire Department, Moreau Fire Department, Mid-County Fire Protection District, Lake Ozark Fire Department, Osage Beach Fire Department, Sunrise Beach Fire Department and Cole County Hazmat.