What started out as a run-of-the-mill traffic accident Thursday morning in Waterloo, Iowa, escalated into a bizarre high-speed police pursuit of a fleeing semi hauling a fuel tanker. It ended when the vehicle crashed into a house and overturned, spilling its load.
At about 6:15 a.m., someone drove a semi cab through a fence at a fuel blending facility, hitting several trees in the process. When that vehicle became struck, the driver reportedly went back to the blending facility, this time taking a semi towing a tanker-trailer containing 7,000 gallons of diesel. The tanker-trailer and the truck stop were both branded as belonging to Kwik Trip.
At about the same time Waterloo police were dispatched to an accident involving the semi-tanker-trailer rig and a minivan. While in route, police were advised that the semi-tanker-trailer had fled that collision traveling at a high rate of speed, the Waterloo Police Facebook page states.
Police soon spotted the big rig and gave pursuit. However, before it could be stopped the driver lost control, striking two parked vehicles and the side of a house before overturning.
As fuel drained into the street the Waterloo Fire-Rescue and police freed the driver and rushed him to a local hospital. Inside the home, a single resident escaped without injury.
At least one telephone pole hit during the chase will need to be replaced, local media report. There was also an injury in the first vehicle collision reported.
Residents living near the fuel spill were evacuated from their homes until it could be remediated. They were not able to return until 2 p.m.
No word yet on any pending charges.