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Travelers Handles Sealant Spill after 464 Pennsylvania Turnpike Drivers Stuck Like Dinosaurs

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by editor

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In The News

Drivers found themselves in the position of so many dinosaurs--as nearly 500 cars rank among numbers of the disabled and stuck or damaged after a tanker truck spill sent the stickiest of a gooey tar-like substance over miles of the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Thanksgiving. Cars either sailed or stuck as spilled sealant continued to harden. Now the Turnpike says stop calling -- in what could be a little better customer service.
It's not clear exactly how many vehicles are involved as drivers are suspected to be instead reporting the accident directly to insurance companies for ease, but the number's known to be at least 464 affected by a the massive spill. Some cars reportedly skidded or sailed while others became stuck in the substance that takes just 15 minutes to harden. The tanker filled in Ohio is supposedly being cited by law enforcement for failing to secure his load -- but drivers want answers.
The tanker's apparently guilty of a leaking valve--a very bad combination if you happen to be transporting nothing less than a liquid driveway sealant. Well, maybe roof tar may be worse. But the tar-like stuff that covered roughly 40 miles of highway gave drivers a firsthand look at what those who roamed the earth may have experienced. Stuck motorists found themselves literally stopped in their tracks as vehicle wheels and the undercarriage of cars or trucks became stuck in the leaked sealant.
The leaks are thought to have started near New Castle, the tanker continuing to spill the driveway sealant for miles and miles until exiting at Oakmont. That turnpike happened tobe a service plaza. Of course the claim is that the tanker's driver wasn't aware, before his turnpike exist, of any leak or problem. He just happened to get off the road apparently -- reason unknown. Drivers in the meantime got to experience ruined tires, stalled vehicles -- and lots and lots of damage, creating the question as to who's going to pay for the Thanksgiving Day mess.
The turnpike apparently doesn't have that answer, or doesn't want to talk about it so much. Officials claim there's no estimate on damages caused by the leaking -- only providing a telephone number related to the accidental leak of sealant over what's thought to be a broken seal, now with involved vehicles confirmed at over 450 disabled or damaged. Cars were towed. And drivers are very unhappy. A tractor-trailer owned by Marino Transportation Services seems to be the confirmed source of the leak, with estimates of hauling between 4,000 and 5,000 gallons of sealant when it arrived on the turnpike near 7:30 p.m. on the rainy Thanksgiving.
So how do you clean up a tarry mess? Crews had to use sand in clean-up efforts, to collect and contain the spilled stuff -- before pushing it onto a shoulder by using snow plows. And as it turns out, being stuck may not have been the worst part before any drying of the sealant. There's report of sliding cars as they encountered the massive sealant spill. Amazingly there were no wrecked cars from any slides.
It was the Pennsylvania Turnpike itself that first instructed drivers to file incident reports through its customer assistance center. But now it says don't call that (800) 331-3414 telephone number originally provided. Drivers involved in the tanker accident are asked to phone Traveler's Insurance directly at 800-238-6225 in order to file a business claim against Marino Transport Services over the sealant spill.


Traveler's Insurance - Pennsylvania Turnpike Accident PA
United States
Phone: (800) 238-6225
Marino Transportation Services
101 Log Canoe Circle
Stevensville, MD 21666
United States
Phone: (410) 604-6441
38° 59' 12.8544" N, 76° 18' 53.2584" W
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