Investigators in Rowan have identified the driver killed when his tanker truck overturned on a rural Rowan County road Thursday, spilling thousands of gallons of ethanol.
James Richard Sechler, 62, was killed in the crash, which happened around 6:30 a.m. on Bringle Ferry Road at Panther Creek Road just north of Salisbury, according to N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Leonard.
Sechler’s tanker truck was the only vehicle involved, and no one else was injured, but between 6,000 and 8,000 gallons of ethanol fuel spilled into the roadway, forcing the evacuation of nearly dozen homes.
Hazmat crews, including one from Charlotte, were still cleaning up the spill on the road, which is expected to be closed until late Thursday or early Friday.
Leonard said investigators are still trying to determine what caused the crash. There was no indication on Thursday that alcohol or some other type of impairment played a role in the wreck.
“There’s no skid marks on the road,” Leonard said. “There’s no indication of any overcorrecting by the driver. The truck went off the right, struck an embankment and flipped onto the driver’s side.” Staff writer Adam Bell contributed.