Tanker spills gasoline after hitting utility pole in Ascension Parish Monday night

A Lavigne Logistics gasoline tanker truck hit a roadside utility pole Monday night on La. 431 in Ascension Parish, puncturing two tanks that leaked 1,200 gallons of gasoline into a small ditch, authorities said Tuesday.

Roads were shut and electricity had to be cut in the St. Amant community for several hours after the crash about 7:22 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Gold Place Road and La. 431, authorities said.

St. Amant volunteer firefighters and other responders feared gasoline might leak into an electrical box that operated a nearby traffic light, St. Amant Fire Chief James LeBlanc said in a news release Tuesday.

Contractor OMI Environmental Solutions later put out earthen and absorbent boom to contain the spilled gasoline, said Tim Beckstrom, state Department of Environmental Quality spokesman. Air monitoring did not detect explosive concentrations of vapor, he said.

Jared Sandifer, Louisiana State Police spokesman, said the driver was cited for careless operation.

The driver told responding Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies he was making a right turn north from Gold Place onto La. 431 when the crash happened, parish Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said.

Bacala said the driver told deputies he was unfamiliar with the area and did not realize how the sharp the turn is.

The rear end of the truck went into the ditch and the tankers right side slid into the pole, rupturing the tanks, which each held about 1,000 gallons of gasoline.

The leaks were halted and the wreck was hauled away. Electricity was restored and traffic reopened early Tuesday, authorities said.

Beckstrom said Lavigne Logistics has hired a contractor, Ellis Environmental, to develop a plan to sample and remediate the spill.