Truck spills sodium bisulfate onto Charlotte Interstate

Truck spills sodium bisulfate onto Charlotte Interstate


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:33 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Investigators say a truck possibly carrying too much weight could be the cause of a hazardous material spill which shut down I-85 for hours early Friday morning.

A 55-gallon drum of sodium bisulfate fell out of a truck. Sodium bisulfate is an acidic salt which can cause bad burns. No one was hurt.

Investigators say it appears the trailer carrying the hazardous material fell apart as it went down the interstate.

How much fellow truck driver Jan Jackson hauls is always top of mind.

"Overweight is a big problem and no driver should function under those conditions but they do," Jackson said.

Weigh stations and roadside inspections help catch those problems.

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, so far this year almost 21,000 commercial vehicles have been inspected.

There have been almost 3,700 hundred out of service violations handed out, totaling just under $344,000 in penalties.

Also, trucks have been overweight by a combined 31.3 million pounds, totaling $1.5 million in penalties.

Oversize penalties so far this year total $111,000.

State troopers are always on the lookout for load, weight and truck issues.

"We're checking for everything possible," said Trooper Darren Conrad.

Federal law requires drivers to check inspect their trucks before driving them.

"His lights, his tires, his load," Conrad said.

But structural or mechanical problems often aren't noticed until there's a problem, like the hazardous material coating the interstate after it fell from the truck.

"You have a massive amount of hazardous material being operated up and down these highways that you may not know it hazardous material," said Conrad.

For now we don't know if the driver was cited for a violation.  The incident report was not available.