A three-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 67/167 on Tuesday morning caused a 5,000-6,000-gallon hot asphalt tar spill across both of the northbound lanes just south of Beebe, according to White County Office of Emergency Management Director Tamara Bays.
The accident around 7:15 a.m. near the the 27 mile marker involved two 18-wheelers – a flatbed and a tanker – and one passenger vehicle, Bays said. “The asphalt tar truck did roll to its side,” causing the spill that resulted in both northbound lanes being closed for about seven hours. There were no injuries.
Arkansas State Police Public Information Officer Bill Sadler said in a statement that two commercials and “a private sedan” were involved in the collision when one of the carriers veered off the roadway to avoid the sedan. The tar that was being hauled reportedly was for use in roadway construction and repair.
“The asphalt company did remediate with a cleanup company, E3 Response out of Jacksonville,” Bays said. “They contracted them to come clean it up."
“They reopened one [lane] yesterday [Tuesday] about two o’clock in the afternoon,” she said. The other lane reopened later, but the cleanup crew was sanding the road on Wednesday, causing it to revert to one lane.
Sadler said traffic Tuesday was “blocked by the wreckage briefly until a detour was opened at Ward, about 2 miles from the crash scene.”
Bays said the Beebe Volunteer Fire Department , NorthStar EMS ambulance service, Arkansas Highway Police, state police, Beebe Police Department and White County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.