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Trucker dies in wreck

Interstate shut down all night as 2,000 gallons of gas spills 


COLUMBUS—A wreck on interstate 26 around mile marker 70 westbound Tuesday night caused one death and about 2,000 gallons of gasoline to spill.  

The wreck occurred around 8:39 p.m. with two 18-wheelers, one that was carrying an 8,000-gallon tanker. The man driving the gasoline truck died at the scene, according to Polk County Emergency Management Director and Fire Marshal Bobby Arledge. The victim has not yet been identified.  

Both the westbound and eastbound lanes of the interstate were shut down most of the night while rescue and clean up crews worked the scene. Arledge said the eastbound lanes were reopened around 5 a.m. Wednesday and the westbound lanes were reopened around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. Crews had detours all night for traffic coming between the Columbus and Landrum exits.  

The driver of the tanker truck carrying gasoline had to be extricated from the truck. The other driver, who had an empty freight, was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital by ambulance. His condition was unknown as of press time.  

Arledge said the North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the wreck and will identify the victim once family is notified.  

The highway patrol has a dash cam off one of the trucks it is analyzing to help determine the cause of the wreck.  

Polk County called a cleanup company out of Greenville, S.C. to clean up the gasoline, which did enter a nearby drain 

“We know it went to grass and know it went into a drain,” Arledge said. “We got it contained though.”  

Both sides of the interstate were shut down because of all the fumes and the gas spilling, according to Arledge 

There were 22 agencies that responded to the accident, including all emergency agencies from Polk County, as well as from Landrum and the Spartanburg County Emergency Management and Spartanburg County Fire Marshal’s Office.