Overturned tanker truck spills nearly 5,000 gallons of oil into Keystone Lake
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Saturday, January 26, 2013
1/26/13 at 7:10 PM
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the driver of the truck smelled of alcohol. That was incorrect.
MANNFORD — A tractor-trailer rig hauling crude oil overturned and spilled about 4,800 gallons of its contents into Keystone Lake on Saturday, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.
The truck was eastbound on the U.S. 412 crossing over the lake when it clipped a car about 9:45 a.m. and fell over onto the crossing’s rocky embankment, Lt. George Brown said.
Authorities estimated that about half of its load of 176 barrels, or 9,680 gallons, spilled into the water.
Brown said oil was washing ashore later Saturday as lake currents pushed it back, apparently containing it near the crash site.
No homes are nearby and no evacuations are expected, he said.
“The tides are really working for us,” he said. “It’s been pushed back on the shore, so it’s really contained with the tide, which is good.”
Authorities expected to remain at the site well into Sunday as the cleanup begins. A private environmental cleanup company was being called in, Brown said.
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Skylar McElhaney said no public drinking water is taken from the lake, and officials said the effect on humans is expected to be limited, at most.
Fish and other aquatic life will feel the brunt of the environmental damage, she said.
DEQ was on site Saturday and will continue monitoring cleanup efforts, McElhaney said.
The tractor-trailer rig’s driver, Troy Royster, 45, of Shawnee was pinned in the wreckage with serious injuries for about an hour, Brown said.
He was extricated by Sand Springs firefighters and flown by helicopter to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa with head and trunk injuries, according to an OHP report.
The report blames the collision on inattention.
The driver and a passenger in the other vehicle — Gwenuana Deshae Dean, 20, Kayla Dee Nichols, 20, both of Wichita, Kan. — reportedly had minor injures.
Their 1997 Buick Lesabre had been driving slowly with a flat tire when the truck struck it at a high rate of speed, Brown said. The women said they were looking for a service station.
Crews closed one eastbound lane of the bridge for about a half mile. The lane was expected to remain closed well into the night, Brown said.
Authorities work the scene of a wrecked tanker truck that spilled nearly 5,000 gallons of oil into Keystone Lake on Saturday. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
Oil splashes ashore after a tanker trunk spilled nearly 5,000 gallons of it into Keystone Lake. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
Crude oil lingers along the shore of Keystone Lake on Saturday. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World