Oil spill reported after semi crash

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. -- Workers are battling inclement weather right now as they try to clean up an oil spill near Lake City.

Florida Highway Patrol said a semi-tractor trailer crashed at approximately 2 a.m. Thursday in the southbound lanes of I-75.

Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace said the driver, John Smith, 52, of Georgia, over-corrected and spun around after trying to pass a second vehicle.

"When he came back into the outside lane, he traveled too far into the emergency lane and lost control," she said.

Smith was uninjured, but the impact of the crash did cause 6,500 gallons of motor oil to spill from his truck.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said the oil seeped into the interstate median and partially drained into a storm sewer that's believed to flow into a small creek.

At this point, workers remain on scene assessing the impact of the spill. It's not believed to be a severe situation because the spill site is in a rural area.

The agency said it will have a better idea of the clean up process by the afternoon. A private contractor has responded to the scene to assist state workers at the request of Smith's employer, FDEP said.

Smith received a ticket for careless driving. No one else was hurt.

It took several hours for the semi to be turned right side up and towed away from the scene. Drivers are advised that lanes might be closed or reduced on I-75 between I-10 and Lake City.


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