Semi crash on US-127 dumps truck load of tar into Saint Johns area creek

Semi-truck, tractor crash on US-127 near Saint Johns prompts closure, detour
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 5:34 PM EDT
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GREENBUSH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - A crash on US-127 near Saint Johns has released a truckload of tar into the Ferdon Inter-County Creek.

The crash happened on southbound US-127 north of Maple Rapids Road in Greenbush Township. Clinton County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) investigators said a semi-tandem trailer was headed southbound when it collided with a Clinton County Road Commission tractor, which was mowing the shoulder area. The trailer then careened off the westside of the highway, crashed through a guard rail, entered a deep ditch and rolled over.

Background: Semi-truck, tractor crash on US-127 near Saint Johns prompts closure, detour

The situation was complicated, however, by what the semi-truck had been hauling.

“The overturned Semi-Tandem Trailer was hauling a road tar substance which was released upon overturning,” CCSO said. “This substance has entered the Ferdon Inter-County Creek and work is currently being done to mitigate the release of this product.”

Teams from the Clinton County Drain Commission and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) were sent to the scene to evaluate steps for proper containment and cleanup. Both agencies said there is currently no immediate harm to the public, but advise the public to stay clear of the Ferdon Inter-County Creek, which leads north from the scene to the Maple River.

They have not yet given an estimate on how long it may take to decontaminate the river.

The Sheriff’s Office said in an email to News 10, “The driver of the John Deere tractor, a 41-year-old male subject out of Ovid, was transported by Clinton Area Ambulance Service to Sparrow Hospital-Lansing with minor injuries.”

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Gratiot County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton County Central Dispatch, Clinton Area Ambulance Service, Mercy Ambulance, Clinton County Road Commission, St. Johns Fire Department, Maple Rapids Fire Department, Michigan State Police Motor Carrier, Clinton County Drain Commission and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

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