Clean Up Continues for Overturned Tanker Truck

The tanker spilled 3,700 gallons of fuel into the San Diego River

Clean up continued Monday, three days after an overturned tanker truck spilled 3,700 gallons of diesel fuel into the San Diego River, upstream of Mission Bay Park's Southern Wildlife Preserve.

"It's a pretty particularly bad place to have spilled because of its ability to affect so many different habitats so quickly," Rebecca Schwartz of the San Diego Audubon Society said."

Crews were onsite all weekend working to clean up the road and river.

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said the accident happened Friday around 6 p.m. when the driver, for unknown reasons, lost control on a ramp from Interstate 8 to Morena Boulevard and crashed.

The ramp was reopened Sunday, but part of Friars road (where it passes underneath Morena Boulevard) remained closed Monday as crews cleaned up. Morena Boulevard has since reopened. 

Crews were able to prevent the spill from reaching the ocean, but cleanup in the preserve may take up to a month with brush and soil removal, Alex Bell from the County Department of Environmental Health said.

"It's going to have some pretty significant local impacts where the spill occurred," Schwartz said. "I think it's also indicative of how sensitive we are to these kinds of spills...This one in and of itself might not be huge, but if we have a lot of these spills on the California coast, the cumulative impact is going to be significant for our wildlife."

According to Schwartz the biggest danger in the preserve is for animals that live in the mud. 

Crews are replacing some asphalt on Friars Road. 

The driver of the tanker suffered minor injuries.

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