Lanes Reopen After Oil Spill, Wrecks Close Northbound Highway 75 Near Peoria

Tuesday, April 7th 2015, 3:11 pm
By: News On 6

All lanes on Highway 75 northbound are back open after a hydraulic fluid spill shut about a mile of the highway for a few hours.

The spill caused about a dozen drivers to lose control and wreck.

Crews worked for hours Tuesday to clean up the hydraulic fluid and make sure it was safe for drivers.

Authorities said fluid leaked from a truck. The driver of that truck pulled over in a parking lot near Peoria, but left behind 80 gallons of the slippery fluid on the highway.

Drivers like Henry Harris and Jessica Barnett felt the effects of the spilled gallons, which left cars off the road, piled on top of each other and scattered all over the northbound lanes of Highway 75.

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"When I stepped on the brakes, I just kept sliding. Every car just ran right into the back of each other," Harris said.

Barnett said, "I was wondering why I couldn't stop."

She was behind the wheel of her car, driving about 65 miles per hour, when she lost control.

“Well, I was sliding, but I was coming to a stop, and then I was able to stop in this lane right here and the truck coming, that was coming behind me, he hit me - rear ended me, knocked my back off," she said.

Among the dozen wrecked vehicles was a Tulsa police department patrol car, a city of Tulsa truck and a truck hauling lawn equipment.

Some of the cars spun around before flying off the road.

“No one didn't know it till they got up on it,” Harris said. “And that's when everybody started sliding."

One man was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, but the rest walked away from the terrifying situation unharmed.

Drivers said the fluid that coated the highway was as slick as ice.

The driver who accidentally dumped it was driving a Grand River Dam Authority owned truck that pulled a goose-neck trailer.

"When he realized he had a leak he pulled over, off the highway,” said Stan May with the Tulsa Fire Department.

Wreckers hauled off all the vehicles and crews worked to clean up the mess by putting down a substance to soak up the fluid, then, washed it down.

“Very lucky, it could have been much worse. It was before rush hour so there wasn't as many people on the road," May said.

The driver who caused the spill got a ticket for having a defective vehicle.

The GRDA is the one responsible for paying the clean-up costs.