Driver’s sharp turn leaves truck leaning

Published 9:47 pm Thursday, November 29, 2018

It was an “oops” that could have been awful.

The state’s hazard experts were at R.B. Wall Company Inc. Thursday to oversee the transfer of nearly 9,000 gallons of fuel from a tanker that nearly flipped over when a driver made a sharp turn into the parking lot.

The contract driver from Pine Belt Oil Co. of Purvis appeared to turn his rig too sharply into the parking lot at the gas station on Hwy. 51. Four of his back tires left the pavement and the tank leaned precariously to the right.

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“He’s one of their best drivers in my opinion, but he sure whipped around there the wrong way,” said station owner Ken Powell. “Something happened. He’s got it laid over. It could be a lot worse.”

One of Powell’s employees took a photograph of the truck perched on its wheels like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The truck is sitting under a billboard advertising the services of a personal injury attorney and says “Wreck?” in big, bold letters.

“This picture is pretty funny although it’s not a funny situation,” Powell said as he waited for authorities to arrive. “It could have been a lot worse. It could still get a lot worse if something happens to go south.”

The tank was filled with 8,800 gallons of gasoline and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey were on hand as the fuel was offloaded. The Brookhaven police and fire departments also assisted.

Officials closed the outside northbound lane of Hwy. 51 to make room for Davis Wrecker Service and the fire department.

The wrecker used cables to keep the truck from falling over. Then workers ran hoses from the truck to the underground tank. When the truck was empty, Davis Wrecker eased the truck back upright, Galey said.

Powell expected the process to take several hours  “and everybody will be happy and it will be a war story we’ll be talking about.”