At 10:40 a.m., Monday, a semi owned by Dealer's Choice Truck Away went off the road on I-70 at the 25- mile-marker, disrupting traffic for hours.
The west-bound semi was "piggy-backing" (a mode of transport where a number of vehicles are stacked on a single trailer) three other trucks when it lost control, went into the guard rail and ended up in the woods.
Damage to the undercarriage of the semi led to a diesel and motor oil spill which required cleanup to prevent contamination of nearby Birch Creek.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management Emergency Response Section was contacted and a hazmat team was sent to the location to access damage and recommend cleaning measures.
Although the fuel and oil did not make it to the creek area, more than 1,000 square feet was affected by the spill.
Dealer's Choice Truck Away contracted Goode Excavating to remove the spill and remediate any impacted soil, but pads and brooms did not work. Spill Recovery of Indiana was brought in to vacuum the affected area.
"We're so glad that there wasn't any major property damage and that no one was injured," Dealer's Choice Director of Safety Dave Bross said, but explained that the name of the driver would remain withheld by the company pending an investigation into the accident.
The cleanup took several hours and blocked traffic on I-70 into the evening hours.
"Dealer's Choice has trucks in all the 48 continental states," he said, explaining that the company agrees entirely with the Department of Transportation's regulations concerning mandatory drug testing of drivers after accidents.
An investigation by the Clay County Sheriff's Department is under way, but it is believed that the driver fell asleep at the wheel. He was taken to the St. Vincent Clay Hospital and released. A chemical/alcohol screening was performed at a Terre Haute hospital, but the results have not been released as of press time.
Responding to the accident were the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department, V Care of Terre Haute, TransCare Ambulance, Clay County Search and Rescue and the Indiana State Police.