The University of North Georgia's Student Newspaper




Overturned Fuel Tanker Shuts Down Hamilton Mill Intersection for 12 Hours

Photo Courtesy of Gwinnett County Police

A major intersection in Gwinnett County, Braselton Highway and Hamilton Mill Road, was closed for 12 hours due to an overturned fuel tanker. The truck, carrying about 85,000 gallons of fuel, overturned at around 5:30 a.m. The truck leaked roughly 3,000 gallons of fuel onto the roadway and into a storm drain.

The incident led to the evacuation of a few surrounding businesses, a BP gas station, a QuikTrip, and Discovery Point Daycare. These businesses stayed closed until the intersection was reopened.

“I live about five minutes from that intersection, so I always get gas at that QuikTrip,” said Andrea Hardy, a local Gwinnett resident. “I was heading that way when I realized traffic was worse than usual. It’s usually backed up in the area, but I figured there was an accident. When I got closer to the gas station, I saw a lot of police cars and was redirected back the way I came. I didn’t know why until later in the day.”

Gwinnett firefighters and hazmat technicians were on the scene all day, and even after the road was reopened to continue evaluating the scene. They established a 500-foot hot zone in order to try and measure the amount of fuel leaking out and contain the spill’s runoff. Officials do not know exactly how much fuel leaked into the storm drain, but they do know a nearby pond already has gas spilling into it.

The firefighters and technicians used equipment to stop the fuel from pouring into the storm drain, and another fuel tanker was used to transfer the remaining fuel in the overturned truck. After, the truck was removed from the road by wreckers to be able to open the intersection again.

“I work in a shopping center just before the intersection, so I saw a lot of cops and firetrucks when I first got to work around 7 a.m., said Anna Hines, a local business owner.

“The traffic wasn’t that bad so early in the morning, so I didn’t think too much more about the incident, but as the day went on I saw traffic continue to get backed up and stay backed up. It was bad even for Hamilton Mill traffic. I definitely think the traffic had an affect on all the surrounding businesses, even the ones that didn’t have to evacuate.”

The trucker was examined on the scene by paramedics, and was reported to not have any injuries. No one else was involved in the accident.

The intersection was finally reopened to drivers around 5:43 p.m., over 12 hours after the accident occured. The hazmat technicians stayed on site to monitor the area for abnormal readings, but officials say residents were never in danger.

“I think it’s really scary that this accident happened, and so much fuel leaked into the road,” said Hardy. “I wonder about the effects it will have on the surrounding environment and even the gas prices in the area.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Vanguard

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of North Georgia. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Vanguard

Comments (0)

All Vanguard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Overturned Fuel Tanker Shuts Down Hamilton Mill Intersection for 12 Hours