Patrol cites driver of truck that spilled contaminated soil from East Palestine
State Troopers have cited the driver of a truck that overturned in Unity Township on Monday, spilling 20,000 pounds of contaminated soil being hauled away from the East Palestine train derailment site.
The Ohio EPA was called to the scene of the crash on Route 165 between Heck Road and Brushville Road at 12:54 p.m. Monday.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the commercial truck with an open-top trailer ended up on its side, off the right side of the roadway.
A preliminary investigation found that the truck was traveling northbound when it went off the highway, hit a ditch and utility pole, and overturned.
According to Governor Mike DeWine's Office, the truck was hauling 40,000 pounds of contaminated soil from East Palestine. About 20,000 pounds of contaminated soil spilled onto the roadway and berm.
The spill was contained and is not a threat to nearby waterways.
21 News crews revisited the crash site Tuesday and observed straw placed where the contaminated soil once was. We spoke to the owner of Cobbler's Ranch, Tony Lamia, who told us Ohio EPA officials were on top of the cleanup process and are still working on it.
"They dug down and they usually [only] go so far, but they went a little extra deep because they seen I was disturbed. ... They put new grass seeds and stuff. They're really trying, I've got to give them credit for that," Lamia said.
However, Lamia says despite assurance from EPA that nothing on his property was contaminated, he is still skeptical and concerned about potential contamination.
"Nothing is 100%. There's got to be something to something, and thank God it didn't rain," Lamia said.
Ohio EPA Media Relations Manager, James Lee tells 21 News the removal of soil from the site is completed and the next step is restoration of the area. This includes adding clean soil and reseeding.
The driver, 74-year-old Phillip S. Falck of McDonald, Pennsylvania, sustained minor injuries due to the crash and was cited for operating a vehicle without reasonable control.
The crash is under investigation.