Tanker truck rollover and fuel spill on the Dalton Highway leaves driver dead

A truck makes its way south on the Dalton Highway near Coldfoot, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

A transport driver is dead and cleanup continues after a fuel tanker bound for Prudhoe Bay rolled down an embankment on the Dalton Highway early Friday morning.

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The driver, Joy Wiebe, was a Fairbanks resident who had been a transport driver in Alaska for years. She had worked for Alaska-based Colville, Inc. for about four months, according to a statement from the company.

Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation is monitoring the incident as the tanker Wiebe was hauling had several thousand gallons of diesel fuel in it.

Nearly 1,780 gallons of that diesel spilled; all but a few hundred gallons of it has been recovered. Neither the state nor the company identified what might have caused the accident.

Colville Inc. is working on a plan for the site that includes soil sampling and environmental remediation. The state identified fiber optic cables and a gas pipeline near the spill site that may be impacted. The spill is in the tundra and could also threaten caribou, fox and migratory birds.