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Tanker overturns, spilling hot wax on highway

December 24, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - A section of U.S. 522 south of Berkeley Springs was shut down for about three hours Tuesday morning when an estimated 6,500 gallons of hot wax spilled on the highway after a tanker truck overturned, a West Virginia State Police spokesman said.

The driver of the truck, Jason Ray Peters, 31, of Youngsville, Pa., was about eight miles south of Berkeley Springs when his truck went around a turn and overturned at about 10:15 a.m., said Trooper K.L. Sheets.

The rig also hit a guardrail and some trees, Sheets said.

The hot wax being hauled in the tanker spilled across the highway, Sheets said.

The wax, a highly flammable liquid which has to be transported hot, is used to make instant light fireplace logs, Sheets said.

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Peters wrecked his rig near a government-operated fish hatchery, and officials were concerned the wax might drain onto the hatchery's property, but it did not reach the hatchery, Sheets said.

The wax cooled, allowing rescue workers to break the material into large chunks for removal, Sheets said.

Rescue workers were still on the scene at 3 p.m. Tuesday removing the wax, Sheets said.

Peters, who was cited for an insecure load, was not hurt, Sheets said.

"It just made a mess," Sheets said.

The rig was owned by Advantage Tank Lines of Canton, Ohio, Sheets said.

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