Dump truck spills fuel in Westerlo, driver cited

WESTERLO — A Sept. 28 incident in Westerlo at the intersection of routes 143 and 32  involving a dump truck towing heavy construction equipment resulted in the driver, Daniel J. Nyland of Stillwater, being cited for failure to yield right-of-way at an intersection, and driving with an unregistered trailer.

Nyland, an employee for Morgan Construction Services LLC, based in Stillwater, told The Enterprise he was driving the truck down a hill on Route 32, with a skid steer and asphalt paver in tow, when the trailer’s brakes stopped working. 

The Albany County Sheriff’s Office told The Enterprise that, while Nyland was traveling southeast on Route 143, he approached a pickup traveling north on Route 32. He failed or was unable to yield the right-of-way to the pickup, resulting in the second driver running his vehicle off the road to avoid the trailer, which tipped over on a left turn and ejected the construction equipment. 

“I did everything right. I had the truck in the right gear, I counted ‘One-Mississippi, two-Mississippi…,’” Nyland said. “I was lucky to get the truck to come to a stop at all because there were no brakes.” 

Nyland and the second driver walked away with minor injuries, and neither vehicle suffered much, if any, damage. 

Environmental Conservation officers were called to the scene because fuel spilled from the construction equipment, which was heavily damaged in the accident. The spill occurred 1.4 miles away from Basic Creek Reservoir, one of three reservoirs for the city of Albany’s water system.

Kevin Frazier, a public information officer with the Department of Environmental Conservation, told The Enterprise that the spill was “minimal” at less than 20 gallons and that no waterways have been impacted. The DEC is currently testing the soil in the area to determine the exact nature of the liquids spilled before it completes excavation of the area.

The sheriff’s office is still investigating the circumstances of the incident, as well as a claim Nyland made that Morgan’s Paving LLC failed to disclose known problems with the trailer’s brakes.

Nyland says he will challenge the failure-to-yield citation in Westerlo Town Court where he is due to appear at a later date. 

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