Family of driver killed in tanker crash says thanks to emergency workers; two residents still can't go home yet

Family of driver killed in tanker crash says thanks to emergency workers; two residents still can't go home yet

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The family of the driver who was killed in an accident involving his tanker truck ahs released a statement thanking rescue workers and saying how much they will miss James Sechler.

Sechler was killed on Thursday morning in the accident on Bringle Ferry Road. Thousands of gallons of ethanol spilled out onto the road and the ground, prompting evacuations and a massive clean up effort by a state wide hazardous materials response.

In the statement, Sechler's daughter, Jennifer Nicholson, expresses appreciation on behalf of the family:

"We would like to thank all of the firefighters, police, medical and cleanup personnel for all of their efforts and support. We thank everyone for all the thoughts and prayers. It is hard to imagine my life without my dad. He wasn't one to draw attention to himself; but he was larger than life, he was the most fair, and honest man I know. He stood for what he believed in, and loved his family. I will miss him along with the most wonderful 3-year-old, who will miss Sunday drives and shared ice cream cones with his Papaw," Nicholson wrote in a note to WBTV.

Sechler's obituary notes a long list of accomplishments, stating that Jim drove a tanker truck for 37 years, where he previously drove for RL Jordan Oil and ECO Energy. He was a beef cattle farmer and loved to grow a garden. Jim was a member of Mt. Zion Church of Christ in China Grove, where he was a Sunday School teacher, former Deacon and past Girl Scout Leader.

He was a volunteer with the South Rowan Marching Band.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, April 9 at Mt. Zion United Church of Christ with Rev. Mark Burns officiating.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 6:00-8:00 PM at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mt. Zion United Church of Christ New Construction Fund, 1415 S. Main Street, China Grove, NC 28023.

Also on Tuesday, Rowan County Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason gave WBTV an update on the clean up at the accident site.

"Work crews are back on site this week working to further evaluate and clean-up the immediate area involved," Thomason wrote in an email. "Emergency responders worked to successfully contain the spill to the immediate area of the accident, which has not reached any nearby streams, or creeks. The remediation company, Hepaco of Charlotte is leading the clean-up process which is estimated to last several weeks."

"Further testing and evaluation of the immediate area by officials both from Hepaco and the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) is also underway as the clean-up process moves forward," Thomason added.

"Residents of two homes adjacent to the accident scene that were evacuated on Thursday remain away while the clean-up process, ground water, and soil testing is underway,"Thomason said. "Officials with the trucking company, Eco-Systems, along with Hepaco, continue to work closely with the residents for their safety and the safety of their property."