SEBRING — Highlands County Fire Rescue responded to a tractor trailer crash around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The crash was still under investigation as of press time on Wednesday. Only the semi was involved in the wreck on U.S. 98 and Tubbs Ranch Road. No injuries were reported.
The cab of the semi was upright and facing east on the north shoulder of U.S. 98. The trailer was on its left side and at an angle, also on the north shoulder. The truck contained 76,000 pounds of treated human waste, according to Highlands County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.
Bashoor said there was no risk of contamination because the waste already went through treatment and was ready for fertilizer. The Department of Environmental Protection was notified, but Bashoor said the hauler of the waste was responsible for the clean up of the mess. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was notified as well because the wreck was partially on the agency’s land. In addition, the State Warning Point, hazmat team and Highlands County Emergency Management were also notified of the wreck and ensuing spill.
The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office was on the scene and helped direct traffic; DeSoto City Fire Department and EMS were also on scene. U.S. 98 was down to one travel lane with traffic backups. U.S. 98 was closed intermittently while firefighters hosed off the road of solids while waiting for the hauler’s clean up crew to arrive.