SEPTEMBER 29, 2023 – Tragic Chemical Spill in Teutopolis, Illinois Results in Five Fatalities

SEPTEMBER 29, 2023 – EFFINFGHAM COUNTY, IL- A heartbreaking incident unfolded in Teutopolis, Illinois, when a semitruck carrying anhydrous ammonia overturned, resulting in a deadly chemical spill. Five people tragically lost their lives due to exposure to the spilled chemical.

Truck crashes in Teutopolis illinois and releases toxic gas
Source: NTSB

Among the victims were Teutopolis resident Kenneth Bryan, 34, and his two children, Walker Bryan, 10, and Rosie Bryan, 7. The other fatalities were Danny J. Smith, 67, from New Haven, Missouri, and Vasile Cricovan, 31, from Twinsburg, Ohio.

The accident occurred on a Friday night on U.S. 40 when the semitruck driver attempted to avoid a collision with another vehicle. In the process, the truck jackknifed, toppled, and hit a parked vehicle’s trailer hitch. This collision resulted in a 6-inch hole in the chemical container, leading to the spill of more than half of the tanker’s 7,500-gallon load of anhydrous ammonia.

Anhydrous ammonia is a chemical commonly used by farmers as a nitrogen fertilizer and as a refrigerant in large building cooling systems. However, it can burn or corrode organic tissue, posing a serious health risk when exposed.

The spill prompted the temporary evacuation of about 500 Teutopolis residents within a 1-mile radius of the crash site. The toxic plume created by the spill led to dangerous air conditions in the northeast area of Teutopolis, complicating the response from emergency services.

In the wake of this tragic incident, the community has rallied together in support of the victims’ families. Ping’s Tavern, on the edge of the evacuation zone, managed to raise $7,000 for the Bryan family, and GoFundMe campaigns have been established for both the Bryan family and Cricovan.

This tragic event underscores the potential dangers of transporting hazardous substances on public roads. Anhydrous ammonia is typically transported around the United States by pipeline, trucks, and trains. Drivers of such vehicles must hold a commercial driver’s license and complete further study and testing for a hazardous material endorsement.

Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. Incidents like these remind us of the importance of safety and the devastating impact of trucking accidents. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a similar incident, we at Injured in Illinois are here to help. We specialize in personal injury cases and offer free case evaluations. Our goal is to ensure victims of such tragic incidents receive the financial recovery they deserve.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized legal advice regarding your injury case, please consult with a qualified attorney.


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