Fuel Spills From Overturned Tanker

The driver of a fuel tanker has been charged with causing an accident Monday afternoon that shut down Highway 96 North of Selma for several hours.

John Ennis, 45, of West Church Street, Benson was traveling northbound on Highway 96 at Live Oak Church Road when he ran off the roadway to the right, overcorrected, and overturned on the left side of the highway completely across the two-lane roadway.

The truck was hauling 8,500 gallons of gasoline, which began to leak after the crash. Emergency management officials and a hazardous materials cleanup crew quickly responded.  Just over 6,000 gallons was offloaded from the overturned truck.  More than 2,000 gallons was spilled.

As a precaution, one home near the accident scene was evacuated.  The roadway was reopened around 2:00am Tuesday however cleanup crews remained on the scene throughout the day working to minimize the effects of the spilled fuel.

Ennis, who was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, was cited by state troopers with failing to maintain lane control. Photos by John Payne