An unusual accident caught the eye of drivers as they were heading down I-81 north in Botetourt County, West Virginia near mile marker 168 in the pouring rain.
On July 3, according to Virginia State Trooper Sergeant John Thompson, a semi-truck that had been transporting a full load of dish detergent bottles overturned, spilling the load into Purgatory Creek.
Residents of the area say that this particular stretch of road is one where accidents happen frequently and they avoid driving in that area. Apparently the driver of the semi-truck lost control of the vehicle in the rain on the slippery roads, crashed through the guard rails and into Purgatory Creek. The driver was not injured.
The sight was not something you see every day, said one resident. “It’s pretty amazing, pretty much a one of a kind thing.”
The sight of the creek filling up with soap bubbles might have seemed whimsical, but Allen Linkenhoker, a pollution response coordinator with the Virginia Department of Environment Quality, says that the chemicals in the detergent can be quite harmful to the aquatic life. “It can harm aquatic life,” Linkenhoker said, “It’s still not good for the fish, it can foul their gills, it can use up their oxygen in the water as it decays. It’s not a healthy situation for a creek by any means.”
He is concerned about long term effects, though at this point he has not noticed harm to the fish, but will continue to monitor the situation.
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