A truck loaded with coal overturned Friday on U.S. 52 south of Mount Airy, causing a diesel spill and three other accidents among vehicles traveling behind.
The accident occurred about 10:35 a.m. when a hauler driven by an unidentified trucker from Fries, Virginia, headed southbound, veered onto the shoulder and turned over on the right side of the highway about a mile north of Cook School Road.
“He was not injured,” Surry Emergency Services Director John Shelton said.
After it overturned, diesel fuel began leaking from the truck’s fuel tank, with Shelton estimating that 75 to 100 gallons was spilled at the scene.
“Our HazMat (hazardous materials) team is down here working,” the emergency services official said shortly before noon.
“They will have a lot of cleanup work to do down there,” Shelton added. The remaining fuel also had to be pumped from the truck’s tank to stem the leakage and avoid a fire hazard.
Shelton said in late morning that only the left lane was open to traffic on U.S. 52-South, but that both lanes were to be closed at some point when the rig was turned back onto its wheels.
Meanwhile, the backed-up traffic from the truck wreck caused other mishaps.
“I think there were three accidents,” Shelton said. “And none of them are serious.”
The N.C. Highway Patrol was still investigating at last report.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.