Charges pending after truck hauling 8,000 gal of ethanol overturns in Rowan Co.

(David Whisenant | WBTV)
(David Whisenant | WBTV)

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A driver is facing charges after a tanker truck he was operating overturned, spilling about 250 gallons of ethanol Tuesday morning in Rowan County.

The incident happened on Bringle Ferry Road near Big Buck Drive, at the Davidson County line. Officials originally said that 3-4,000 gallons spilled before dropping that number around 4 p.m.

Troopers say charges are pending against the driver of the Hot Z Transport Service truck, David Griggs.  Griggs was not seriously hurt in the incident.

The tanker was carrying 8,000 gallons of ethanol when it overturned.  The spill was contained to the right of way, according to Frank Thomason of Rowan Emergency Services.

"Fortunately this one was contained right at the accident site and we're monitoring that very closely and we're also in contact with the residents, immediate neighbors and make sure they are aware of what's going on," Thomason said.

The Charlotte Fire Department was called in to assist with the cleanup, which was expected to close the roadway for an "extended period of time."

This accident happened just about a mile from a very similar accident in 2015.  In that crash, the truck driver died and the ethanol spilled into the water supply, forcing residents out of their homes.

"I saw Haz-Mat, all the vehicles and I knew right then it was something. We looked at each other and said I bet it's another tanker accident… yes we did.," said Sheila Shepherd and Jackie Huffman, two of the displaced women who still can't live in their former home.

"It's hard to put in words because it's so nerve-wracking, nightmares, it's just one thing after another," Sheila and Jackie added.

The company started cleaning it up, but then stopped.  The women are letting their lawyers handle it now and have filed suit.

They say today's crash is proof that the company, Hot Z Transport in Denton, needs to be more careful and more responsible.

"Everything in your life changes…in just a second," the women said.

Cabarrus County experienced a separate incident Tuesday afternoon, which forced more than two dozen homes to evacuate.

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