William J. Statts, age 39, of Harrington, the driver of a tanker truck that spilled gasoline and diesel fuel in an accident April 5, was arrested and charged with causing the discharge of a water pollutant.


    William J. Statts, age 39, of Harrington, the driver of a tanker truck that spilled gasoline and diesel fuel in an accident April 5, was arrested and charged with causing the discharge of a water pollutant.
    The accident, in which a loaded gasoline tanker overturned, occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. Sunday, April 5 on the Del. 1 Lorewood Grove Road exit ramp just south of the Sen. William V. Roth Bridge over the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.
    Statts, who was trapped in his truck for more than two hours, was later cited by the Delaware State Police for unsafe speed, which the investigating trooper found to be the cause of the accident.
    Members of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Emergency Response Team responded to the accident scene to monitor the truck and its contents while emergency crews struggled to free the driver. With rescue operations in progress, the tanker began to build pressure and developed leaks, which the team members secured to ensure the safety of the emergency workers.
    After the driver was freed and airlifted to Christiana Hospital, Emergency Response Team members drilled holes into the tanker’s five compartments and offloaded its 9,000-gallon cargo. With the tanker truck stabilized, a contractor worked into the next day to clean up about 200 gallons of gasoline that spilled into the soil.
    The owner of the tanker, Murphy Transport of Greensboro, Md., cooperated with DNREC and the contractor during cleanup operations.
    An Environmental Protection Officer, who serves on the Emergency Response Team, investigated the accident and arrested Statts following his release from the hospital. Statts pled guilty on April 13 to causing the release of a water pollutant and was fined $100 plus court costs in Justice of the Peace Court 11 in New Castle.