A major incident occurred in Death Valley as a tractor trailer crash resulted in the spillage of 5,000 gallons of liquid asphalt within the park. According to park officials, the accident took place on July 17 when the truck’s brakes failed while descending from Daylight Pass. Despite the driver’s attempts to downshift, the truck couldn’t be brought to a halt.
The crash happened on the shoulder of Mud Canyon Road, approximately two-and-a-half miles east of North Highway. It’s worth noting that commercial trucks are not allowed on Mud Canyon Road, partly due to its steep grades.
Fortunately, the driver emerged from the incident unharmed. Park visitors assisted him by providing transportation to an area with cell phone service, where he reported the accident.
Upon responding to the scene, park service employees assessed the situation and determined that approximately 5,000 gallons of liquid asphalt had spilled, with an additional 150 gallons of diesel released due to the crash.
The trucking company involved is fully cooperating with the National Park Service to address the situation promptly. Charges related to the incident are currently pending. As authorities work on the removal of the wreckage and the cleanup of the site, safety measures are being taken to prevent any further environmental impact within the park.
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