Driver found dead as semi truck is lifted from Deer Creek Reservoir

Officials say some diesel fuel spilled into the reservoir, but the environmental impact is minimal

HEBER CITY, Utah – Rescue crews were able to lift the wreckage of a semi truck, which was carrying 12,000 gallons of propane, out of the Deer Creek Reservoir, Tuesday. Officials reported the driver, a Utah man, did not survive the crash.

The crash occurred Monday evening at 7 p.m. after the driver, traveling southbound on Highway 189 lost control of the tanker and it jack-knifed around a sharp bend in the road.

Utah Highway Patrol’s Sgt. Cameron Roden said the semi “lost control and jackknifed… Hit the guard rail and went into Deer Creek Reservoir.”

After the crash, the highway was closed in both directions for the whole night and most of Tuesday. It was reopened at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday

Fire Chief Eric Hales of the Wasatch Fire District said the crews had to wait for the propane to dissipate into the air following the crash. Since propane is heavier than air, Hales said officials were concerned that the propane would end up in the reservoir.

Wasatch County Health Department’s Chris Smoot said a small amount of diesel fuel from the truck did leak into the reservoir along with some engine oil.

“Our best guess is that it was less than 20 gallons,” Smoot said.

Semi-trucks typically hold between 130-150 gallons of diesel fuel.

Absorption booms and curtains have been placed in the reservoir to help soak up the spill and water conservancy officials are at the scene to assist in mitigation efforts.

Smoot said there shouldn’t be any lasting effects due to the spill as most of the fuel will rise to the surface of the water and be broken down by sunlight and wave action on the water’s surface.

“As a precaution the Central Utah Water Conservation District took samples from around the reservoir and also from below the dam,” Smoot said.

The results of those tests have not yet come back.

The Deer Creek Reservoir supplies water to about 1.5 million people, or roughly half of Utah’s population.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated. Officials say thy will be able to gather information from the systems of the semi to help determine what went wrong.

You May Also Like
TownLift Is Brought To You In Part By These Presenting Partners.

Add Your Organization