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A single-vehicle accident involving a tanker truck blocked the Interstate 71 southbound lanes Wednesday, Feb. 13 and spilled about 10,000 pounds of cream into the median.
James Casto, 35, of Homan Transportation was hauling about 20,000 pounds of Dannon cream when he lost control of the vehicle and overturned near the 50 mile marker, according to Carroll County Sheriff Jamie Kinman.
Emergency Management Director Ed Webb estimated about half of the cream traveled from the median into the storm drain into a ravine and, finally, into a pond off Hwy. 36 East.
Webb contacted the state Emergency Response Team and Three Rivers District Health Department and both responded to the scene.
Pecco Inc., a private clean up company out of Nicholasville, Ky., was hired to clean up the cream. All of the water and cream was drained from the pond. The pond was cleaned, scraped and put back the way it was, Webb said. The pond was located on a private farm, and the owner kept his cows out of the area, he said.
Cleanup began Wednesday and crews worked all day Thursday and most of the day Friday.
Webb said it would seem like cream would not pose a hazardous risk. However, as it breaks down, it takes the oxygen out of the water. The purpose of the cleanup operation was to ensure the spill did not pose any negative side effects downstream in the future, he said.
Pecco Inc., also backed off the remaining cream left in the truck and disposed of it.
Casto was transported from the scene by Carroll County EMS to Carroll County Memorial Hospital for a small bump on the head and was treated and released, Kinman said.
Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement charged Casto with possession of narcotics, according to Public Affairs Officer Brian Gilliam. CVE allegedly found seven oxycodone pills in an unmarked bottle without a prescription. Gilliam said DUI charges are not being pursued at this time.
The call came in to Carroll County Dispatch at 8:49 a.m. Traffic was re-routed at Exits 55 and 57 to use U.S. 42, according to KSP Trooper Dave Roberts.
Diesel fuel from the wreck also spilled on to the interstate, the emergency lane and in the ditch in the median, Webb said. M&M Towing had the hazards secured at 9:47 a.m. The soil containing the diesel was removed, new topsoil was laid and grass seed and straw was sown, Webb said.
After the diesel fuel was cleaned up, about two hours later, one lane was re-opened to let the traffic through that had been stopped between Exit 55 and the wreck site, Carrollton Police Chief Mike Willhoite said. Both lanes were re-opened at about 6 p.m., Kinman said.
Carroll County Sheriff’s Office investigated the accident. Kentucky State Police, Ghent Fire Protection District, Carroll County EMS, Carroll County Emergency Management, M&M Towing, Carroll County Rescue and Carrollton Police Department also were on scene.