Driver charged, no fish-kill in Afton milk spill

The driver of yesterday's spilled milk truck, Dwayne K. Kahle, has been charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain a logbook, according to Albemarle Police Sergeant Glenn Fink. Depending on his driving record, Kahle, 41, could face up to $2,500 in fines or one year in prison for each of the class one misdemeanors, says Fink.

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration requires truck drivers to maintain a logbook showing that they have spent at least eight hours off the road each day. The logbook thus serves to prevent driver fatigue, one of the most common cause of truck accidents.

Bill Clark, an investigator in the Albemarle Fire Marshal's office, says the driver will "probably not face environmental charges for hazardous release." However, Kahle's company, Mount Crawford-based Mountain Milk Hauling, will be billed for the cleanup work done by workers from the city, county, and contractor Haz./ Mat. 2006, said Clark.

Haz./ Mat. 2006 finished pumping milk from Stockton Creek around 7 last night. "We're comfortable that we got most of the milk out of the creek, and are hoping that we averted a fish kill," he says. Biologists from the state Department of Environmental Quality told Clark that fish may have survived on oxygen that remained in pockets on the side of the creek, even while bacteria from the milk used up oxygen in the main flow.

According to the News Virginian, the driver of this year's earlier milk truck accident also worked out of Mount Crawford. However, he was employed by a different trucking company, CT Durham, which is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. That accident occurred at the intersection of Rt. 250 and I-64, about three miles up Rt. 250 from yesterday's wreck.

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