Eagle Nest, NM – Around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 27, 2016, a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), operated by the Fronk Oil Company (Booker, TX), was traveling westbound on US 64. At mile marker 290, approximately five miles east of Eagle Nest, the vehicle slid off the north side of the roadway and into the Cimarron River which was located alongside the roadway.
The CMV was hauling a tanker trailer containing unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel. After impacting the river, the tanker trailer disengaged causing some diesel fuel to leak. State Police, Eagle Nest Fire Department, and Raton Fire Department (which had a hazardous materials response team) responded immediately, assessing and managing the scene. The fuel was subsequently offloaded from the tanker trailer.
The New Mexico State Police investigated the crash and issued an inspection of the vehicle at the scene. The driver of the vehicle was cited for careless driving. State Police maintained incident command of the scene. The CMV was removed from the river hours after the crash. The fuel spill in the Cimarron River is estimated to be between 500 – 1100 gallons of diesel fuel. A federally approved hazmat team has arrived on scene to initiate assessment and clean-up.
State Police is working with other state and local agencies to inform those in the area who potentially may be affected by this incident. In addition, the NM Environment Department is working with State Police to fully assess the environmental impacts of the accident and to ensure all is handled appropriately. Further information will be disseminated as it develops.
KRTN talked to Raton Water Works General Manager Dan Campbell and he informed us that the Raton’s water supply line from the Cimarron River was not affected at all by Tuesday’s fuel spill. The City was not drawing water from the Cimarron Diversion at the time and the intake valves have been shut down until the time when the supply can be guaranteed to be safe. Campbell further stated that the chain of communication worked smoothly after the spill as the city was informed within about a half an hour of the occurrence. Campbell said the city is currently using Lake Maloya as it’s water source.