Fuel truck driver accused of causing “catastrophic” gas leak in Delaware County


Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stalmer said Tuesday that a fuel transport driver from Wayneland, New Jersey is facing criminal charges for allegedly causing a “catastrophic” gasoline leak in Brookhaven on June 11 .

More than 4,000 gallons of gas leaked in Gas N Go on Edgmont Avenue killed wild animals and forced the closure of nearby Coebourn Elementary School, According to Stollsteiner’s office.

The 36-year-old George Smith faces 11 charges, including unauthorized disposal of hazardous waste and causing disasters, related to leaks. Court documents show.

Through the records of Smith’s employer Lee Transport Systems, IInvestigator confirms The DA office stated that he filled his fuel truck with 8,500 gallons of gasoline for delivery on the day of the leak. These records also show that the Brookhaven gas station is the fourth stop on Smith’s delivery route, but he chose to make it the first stop.

“Due to the delivery at Gas N Go earlier in the day of the incident, it is clear from the records that the amount of gasoline (Smith) carried could not be placed in the underground storage tank at Brookhaven Station,” the DA office said. In the press release.

“The investigators learned that the safety features on the (Smith) fuel truck prevent drivers from refueling their truck with gasoline remaining in the truck tank. Therefore, (Smith) must make a partial delivery at the next stop before returning fuel Ku, this will extend his route.”

When the gauge system monitoring the underground fuel tank of Gas N Go issued an overflow warning to Smith, it was alleged that he deliberately redirected the hose to the guardrail of the property and was caught by surveillance cameras. Investigators said the dead vegetation marked the path for fuel to flow into a small forest along the embankment next to the gas station.

72721 Fox killed in gas leak

According to reports from local residents, first responders discovered the leak the next day after smelling gas in the area. Delaware County Daily Times. In an email announcing the charges against Smith on Tuesday, prosecutors provided photos of fish and foxes that died in wooded areas due to the oil spill.

“To date, more than 100 large trucks have excavated contaminated soil and transported them off the site,” the DA office said. “Other remedial measures, including testing and treatment of groundwater, may take years.”

72721 Areas affected by the natural gas leak in Delaware CountySource/Delaware County District Attorney’s Office

The map provided by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office shows the areas likely to be affected by the large-scale natural gas leak that occurred in Brookhaven on June 11, 2021. A fuel transport driver from Vineland was accused of causing the leak.

Leaks and subsequent clean-up work, According to reports, it lasted until the beginning of July, Which also caused Coebourn Elementary School to close face-to-face learning for the remainder of the school year.

“It is not recommended that we let the entire school’s students and faculty occupy the building for a long time,” wrote the principal, Teresa Ford. Post on school Facebook page on June 15“Although the school’s current indoor air quality readings are very good, I was told that this may change soon, and I don’t want students and staff to experience the smoke or unpleasant odors that are expected during cleaning operations.

Court documents show that Smith was summoned on Tuesday, and the preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 12.

“(Smith) was entrusted to deal with dangerous products-gasoline-and he has a prudent responsibility to all of us,” said Stolstein, who accused him of choosing “for his own benefit rather than the Brookhaven community.” Safety”.

General Manager of Lee Transport Systems Tell the inquirer Smith has been out of work since the leak, and the company “sorrows over the course of action…causing a terrible leak that affected the community.”

“We are consulting labor lawyers to weigh our options,” Tepolili told the paper in an email, adding that Smith’s future in the company was “gloomy.”

“There is overwhelming evidence that this is not a routine delivery procedure,” Tepolili wrote. “As a former transportation driver, I can say that everything that George Smith delivered at this site was wrong.”



Source link