JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. -- Crews reopened Highway 35 in Scottsboro after a semi-truck wreck spilled latex paint into the Tennessee River and on the roadway.
Monday evening was warm and pleasant for casting a line in the water. People along State Route 35 and 40 are once again hurrying home, less than 12 hours after a bad crash.
"We think he lost his brakes and wasn't able to stop the truck," Jackson County Emergency Management Agency deputy director Paul Smith said.
A little after 6:00 a.m., a truck driver hauling thousands of gallons of paint couldn't slow down and rolled on the busy highway.
"Once the brakes are gone on those fully loaded trucks, legal weight is 80,000 pounds. You just don't stop that in a short time," Smith said.
Jackson county leaders say even though the paint made one heck of a mess, it's not a major environmental issue. They say the driver was hauling white latex paint and any of it that seeped over the railing dissolved once it hit the Tennessee River. They checked with the EPA as well as ADEM who told them it's not a major concern for the habitat.
"The fish in this area, it said there were no restrictions," fisherman Matt Kilgore said.
Paul Smith with Jackson County Emergency Management says he estimates only a few hundred gallons of white paint reached the river. Not enough to deter Matt Kilgore and his fishing buddy. The mess is all but cleaned up, and smith says the truck driver walked away.
"Cuts, scrapes and bruises," Smith said.
Some good news from a crash that could've been catastrophic.
Workers used dirt and sand to soak up the paint.
No other vehicles were involved.
The northbound bridge was diverted but has now been reopened.