Truck driver faces bill for Route 8 accident

Ansonia, Conn. (WTNH)–The truck driver that caused two accidents on Route 8 Thursday will be responsible for the road repair costs to clean up the chemicals that spilled from the back of his trailer.

Chris Roche, 38 of Fairfield, was driving a 2004 Ford F-250 pickup truck with an attached 24-foot box trailer when he swerved from the right lane “for an unknown reason” and struck the guard rail. He then veered left across Route 8 and hit the median, causing two 55-gallon drums of chemicals to spill out of the trailer.

There were no injuries as a result of the accident.

“I don’t know what happened,” Roche said Friday afternoon.” There was nothing in front of me and nothing behind me. I just lost control.”

A tractor-trailer tried to avoid the incident, but instead jackknifed near the scene, which further complicated efforts to clear the highway.

The toxic mix of chemicals usually used to make foam insulation froze before it could be cleaned up, so the Derby portion was closed while crews repaired the road. The DEEP described the chemicals as a blend of iso-cyanate derivitives. It is considered toxic and can cause lung and liver damage if not properly handled, according to the Center for Disease Control.

“The costs for the cleanup, milling and staff time will be passed on to the responsible party,”said Kevin Nursick, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. “I don’t have a cost at this point, and that might have to come from more than one (state) agency.”

“The milled section will be repaved this spring or summer,” the DOT spokesman said.

“The cost again will be passed on to the responsible party.”

The section of the highway affected was reopened at around 4:30 a.m. Friday.

Nursick said that the section of the highway had been milled and paved the previous summer and will need new repairs.

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