EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 23, 2010

Driver of tipped tanker cited for speeding

By Jim Patten

METHUEN — As efforts continued to clean up a 4,500-gallon home heating oil spill on Route 28, the driver of the tanker that rolled over causing the spill was cited yesterday for speeding and a yellow light violation.

Methuen police Capt. Thomas Fram identified the driver as Louis Fejes, 31, of 28 Bradford Loop, Georgetown.

Crews from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and ENPRO Environmental Services worked to contain the damage.

Fejes, an employee of the Lawrence-based Haffner's fuel company, was at the wheel of the 2009 Mack tanker as he drove up the off-ramp from Route 213 east onto Route 28 north. As he rounded the corner onto Route 28, the tanker rolled over coming to rest on the sidewalk and spilling much of its load of No. 2 heating oil.

One witness in a car stopped at the traffic light as the tanker drove through, told police the tanker was "flying."

Another witness in the car directly behind that car told police the light had turned to yellow when the truck entered the intersection and immediately turned red.

He told police he watched as the truck began to tip and land on its side.

He estimated the truck was traveling at 20 to 25 mph when it rolled over.

Fram said state crews had ground down some of the asphalt Wednesday night to see how far the home heating oil had penetrated, and that more grinding would have to be done.

Fram said the crews also were checking under the sidewalk where the tanker truck landed, and that the sidewalk might have to be removed as well.

In addition, two catch basins also would be replaced, he said.

A lot of the fuel ran through drains under Route 28 and ended up in a water impoundment area just off Route 213 at the newly reconstructed overpass, Fram said.

"I've seen spills at accidents, but I've never seen anything like that 4,500 gallon spill," Fram said.

Adam Hurtubise, spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, said some of the pavement would have to be replaced, and that restoration work would be done to the pavement, sidewalk and Nevins Road, after the spill was cleaned up.

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