"A semi-tractor trailer hauling gasoline, it was going NE on M-50 when it struck a tree that had blown over," says Undersheriff Thomas Finco of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.
The tanker was carrying more than 13,000 gallons of gas. Of that, about 300 spilled.
"If it's not taken care of, or remediated immediately, it could potentially impact the ground water," explains Patrick Espinoza of Great Lakes Environmental & Engineering Services.
The accident happened just after midnight Friday in Springport Township --- on M-50 between M-99 and Brown Road.
"We're going to excavate as much soil as we have to. We may have to take a couple of trees down. The accident scene is what we're going to be concentrating on. And then we'll take samples to prove the soil's okay," Espinoza says.
When emergency crews arrived, the driver was found dead on the scene. The sheriff's department says the victim was headed from Jackson to Eaton Rapids.
"We believe the truck went airborne and ultimately careened off a major tree, landing into other trees," says Undersheriff Finco.
Adds Espinoza, "What we did is prevent anybody coming in the area because of vapors. We didn't want anyone to ignite the vapors then blowing up the tank."
Two homes are located near the accident. But there was no mandatory evacuation.