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Tanker truck overturned while navigating roundabout

Published On: Nov 28 2012 08:58:43 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 28 2012 09:15:32 PM CST
MILTON, Wis. -

A rollover crash that sent thousands of gallons of ethanol onto a highway in Rock County is still under investigation.

A stretch of State Highway 59 in Milton reopened nearly 24 hours after a tanker truck tipped, sending an estimated 8,000 gallons of ethanol onto the roadway.

The Milton Police Department said the truck and trailer overturned while driving through a roundabout.

It's no secret many Rock County residents aren't big fans of roundabouts.

"I think there's too many. I don't mind them but not when there are several in a row," said Milton resident Wendy Ritacco.

"Around here, there's not much traffic, and they seem to be more confusing than anything" said Rock County resident Greg Coyle.

In a statement, Wisconsin Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Bie said, "The DOT designed the roundabouts in the area to ensure they could safely accommodate the freight traffic associated with the ethanol plant, and they were built to those standards."

Milton city workers returned to the scene Wednesday to finish cleaning up.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the 8,000 gallons of ethanol slowly leaked into a retention pond.

"It was a direct line to this settling pond, this retention pond. The pond itself is contained. It's not connected to any ground water supplies," said Robert Manwell, DNR regional public affairs manager.

Manwell said the owner of the trucking company will continue to monitor the pond.

"(We'll) monitor the water in the pond a couple of times a week for a month so that we can tell if the ethanol is dispersing and degrading naturally as we expect it will," Manwell said.

Drivers in the area aren't surprised that roundabouts may have contributed to the crash.

"I've never seen anybody having trouble, but I've never been behind a big rig like that, either, so I couldn't speak for them," Ritacco said.

"You can look at it and see where the trucks have jumped over the edges and are chewing it up already," Coyle said.

The driver of the tanker truck wasn't injured in the crash. The Wisconsin State Patrol is investigating the incident and its final crash report is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

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