A semi-truck carrying chemicals overturned Monday morning in Liberty County, closing a portion of a major thoroughfare.
The tractor-trailer had just picked up a load of a liquid chemical from Chemtall in Riceboro shortly after 9 a.m. when it overturned while rounding a curve heading north on U.S. 17 near Highway 84, Georgia State Patrol Trooper William Bowman said. The chemical the truck was hauling is used in paint products.
The spill did not prompt an area evacuation; however, authorities closed a section of the highway until the cleanup was completed Monday evening.
The chemical, according to Liberty County EMA Assistant Director Larry Logan, was more of an irritant to the eyes and skin and was not harmful. No water was contaminated, and the cleanup continued Tuesday when the contaminated soil was removed.
Bowman said speed was a factor in the accident, and the driver, identified as Nikia Brown of Jonesboro, was not injured. Bowman said Brown was headed to the Port of Savannah at the time of the accident.
Captain Joe’s Seafood in Midway, a few yards from the accident site, was impacted by the spill. Laura Carone, a waitress, said the staff had only filled one takeout order at lunchtime Monday.
“Normally we would be busy with the lunch crowd, but no one can get to the restaurant with the road closed,” Carone said as she and other staffers stood outside the empty restaurant.