ORLAND, Maine — An oil truck overturned on a slick stretch of Route 1 early Tuesday morning near the Orland-Ellsworth town line, spilling fuel onto the roadway and nearly threatening a nearby pond.
Donna Gormley, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, said DEP crews responded shortly before 3 a.m. and were prepared for the worst.
“It could have been a disaster, but there really was only a small amount of fuel that spilled,” she said.
A DEP crew remained at the scene late Tuesday morning, unloading 3,800 gallons of diesel fuel and 800 gallons of kerosene to other trucks, Gormley said. By late afternoon, she said, all but 200 gallons of the fuel was accounted for. As part of the cleanup, the DEP crew removed approximately 14 yards of contaminated soil.
When the driver of the truck lost control, it crashed into a guardrail and went over an embankment, she said. At that point, the fuel tank detached from the truck’s cab, which Gormley said was probably a stroke of luck.
“There was a small hole in the tank, but it was at the top, and the truck ended up on its wheels,” she said.
A small amount of fuel spilled out and into a nearby stream, according to Gormley, but it did not threaten Patten Pond, which is where that stream flows.
The truck was owned by Diesel Direct, which has several locations in Massachusetts. The truck’s driver was not identified, but he was not believed to have been injured, according to a Maine State Police dispatcher.
A representative from Diesel Direct did not return a call Tuesday for comment.
Firefighters from Orland, Bucksport and Ellsworth went to the accident scene and assisted in the cleanup.