Semi-truck accident spills tons of hazardous waste in Atoka Co.


ATOKA COUNTY, OK -- A semi -truck flipped over in Atoka County Wednesday morning, spilling 22 thousand pounds of hazardous waste along the side of Highway 7 near Wapanuka.

Troopers said just before 10 AM Wednesday morning, Charles Coker drove a semi-truck carrying hazardous waste off the road and flipped over, spilling the waste off the side of Highway 7 between Atoka and Wapanuka.

"We believe the driver fell asleep and ran off the road, overturned one and a half times and was pinned for approximately one hour," said OHP Trooper Heath Davidson.

Davidson said Coker was in stable condition when the authorities found him. He was transported to Atoka County Medical Center.

Coker was driving the semi-truck from Wynnewood Refinery to a waste disposal site in Arkansas. It was carrying a non-toxic primary sewage sludge, but Davidson said it's still dangerous.

"Mild to severe is what I believe the book showed on it," said Davidson. "Mild eye irritations but it is classified as hazardous."

There was about 22 thousand pounds of the hazardous waste on the scene, and a few miles up the road is Watson Creek. Environmental crews worked all day to clean up the waste before the expected rainfall so the waste does not come in contact with the creek.

"We're gonna try to contain it," said Davidson. "It's 22 thousand pounds, so it will take a while."

Davidson said crews should be finished cleaning up the waste before the end of the day.


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