By MELINDA WILLIAMS
GILES COUNTY – Wabash Creek in Giles County was spared from contamination Monday despite a 150-gallon diesel fuel spill resulting from a truck wreck.
First Sgt. Mike Honaker with Virginia State Police said a section of Route 100 was closed for about three hours while a hazardous materials team cleaned up the spill. The wreck occurred in a two-lane section Route 100, about three-tenths of a mile south of Big Rock Road and about 3.5 miles north of the Pulaski County line.
Honaker said the wreck occurred when James Wayne Saxton, 61, of Beaverton, Ala. allowed the right wheels of the 2012 Freightliner tractor-trailer he was driving to drop off the pavement briefly, then overcorrected when he tried to bring them back onto the road.
“Mr. Saxton was inattentive and allowed his vehicle to drift off the right side of the roadway,” said Honaker. “When he attempted to bring the vehicle back onto the roadway he did what many drivers do, which is overcorrecting, and this often causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle.”
He added, “Fortunately, no other traffic was in the area at the time and because the embankment was not very steep the driver sustained only minor injuries. This kind of crash reminds us that being inattentive for even a moment can result in a catastrophic crash.”
When Saxton lost control of the truck, it struck the concrete railing on the bridge that crosses Wabash Creek. The truck then continued off the right side of the road, down an embankment and into several trees and a fence. Honaker said damage to the tractor unit was “extensive.”
The fuel spilled when the tank ruptured, but Honaker said the creek wasn’t affected.
Saxton was transported to Giles County Community Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. Trooper Ashely Crigger changed him with reckless driving by failing to maintain proper control of the truck.
The truck, owned by Harden Shipping of Haleyville, Ala., was transporting furniture from Tennessee to Pearisburg.