Overturned semi spills cooking grease

MARIETTA – A semi-trailer bed overturned Tuesday morning on Glendale Road near Grant Edwards Drive, spilling thousands of pounds of cooking grease on the road and shutting down the road for more than four hours.

The semi, being driven by Kyle Karns, 27, of Somerset, was the only vehicle involved in the accident, which occurred around 10 a.m. Karns reported no injuries.

He had been attempting to steer near the berm to make way for an oncoming vehicle, said Patrolman Katie Warden of the Marietta Police Department.

“His rear tire slipped off the road and got caught,” she said.

The trailer of the semi overturned into the front yard of the Wagner Union Church, spilling 18,000 pounds of used cooking grease the semi had been transporting.

The brown liquid pooled in the ditch in front of the church and trailed under the semi onto the roadway and over the embankment on the side of Grant Edwards Drive.

The driver was responsible for picking up used cooking grease from area locations and transporting it for safe disposal, said Warden.

The 2,200 gallons of grease were being contained in two diked areas, said Chief C.W. Durham of the Marietta Fire Department.

“The (Environmental Protection Agency) and shipping company have both been contacted regarding cleanup,” he said.

Before their arrival, a crew from the City of Marietta covered grease spots on the roadway with dirt in an attempt to make it less slick.

Glendale Road, between Sherry Drive and Grant Edwards Drive, reopened one lane around 2:30 p.m., said Warden.

Karns was cited for failure to control, she said.

An emergency responder from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was on scene throughout the afternoon assisting cleanup, said Erin Strouse, spokeswoman for the Ohio EPA.

“There is a vacuum truck trying to suck up some of this liquid and we’re waiting on a roll out box,” said Strouse.

The roll out box will be filled with contaminated soil from an empty lot across from the church where the grease was intentionally shored up, she said.

Luckily, said Strouse, the spill was quickly contained.

“It doesn’t sound like there is a big environmental impact, thanks in part to the quick response from the Marietta Fire Department,” she said.

No water supplies were affected by the spill and cleanup was expected to wrap up Tuesday evening, said Strouse.

The shipping company DAR PRO Solutions, a cooking oil recycling and grease trap service, was handling the cleanup and managing traffic Tuesday evening, said Warden.