Truck jackknifes near rock pit


The driver of a dump truck was injured and transported to Olympic Medical Center after the truck and pup trailer slipped off an embankment into an irrigation ditch near the entrance to the Haller rock pit off River Road on Wednesday afternoon.

The truck came to rest askew in the ditch with the trailer folded underneath. 

Fire District 3 officials estimate 20-25 gallons of diesel fuel and an unknown quantity of oil and hydraulic fluid leaked into the irrigation ditch.

Fire district personnel worked at the accident site and three additional sites downstream, using absorbent pads and booms to contain the oil and diesel.

Doug Knapman, who drives a truck for Diamond Construction and was on the scene Wednesday, said he and others heard the driver say the truck's brakes had just gone out before the truck went off the embankment.

Knapman said the rock pit roadway has a particularly narrow path in one section for truck drivers to haul their loads.

"It's easy without a trailer," he said, but not so easy hauling a trailer.

In responding to the cleanup, Fire District had assistance from Clallam County Emergency Management, the Department of Ecology Spill Response team from Olympia and the Highland Irrigation district, which assisted in planning and providing information about the irrigation system. In addition, Scarsella Brothers Inc. had employees on scene assisting with the containment effort as well as arranging for a cleanup contractor. 

The fire district also used an oil spill response trailer from John Wayne Marina and a cache of absorbent booms and other waste-capturing materials.

About 20 fire district personnel were on scene for five and a half hours, until the incident was turned over to Ecology and Scarsella Brothers.

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