A 55,000-pound truck got stuck in a sinkhole and shut down a side road in Oakwood for the majority of the day Tuesday. Wallis Road, adjacent to Branch Road in Oakwood, runs next to the Diamond Auto Spa.
The truck sat on the side of the auto care company’s lot.
In an effort to pull the truck out, crews began working as soon as the call came in at 7:43 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The Terry Towing company was still working to pull the truck out by 5:45 p.m., but ran into a problem with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA didn’t approve of its plans to send one of its men into the hole, have him rig up the truck and pull it out with the company’s towers.
“It's not going to be quick, simple or easy (getting it out),” Travis Terry said.
By 6 p.m. they were working on a plan to cut a larger hole, about 15 feet, so they could “drive” the truck out of the hole. Digging the hole deeper would lower the front two wheels, which were suspended in the air.
Terry said he sees unusual situations like these all the time.
“It's maybe the weirdest thing this week,” he said, noting that it’s only Tuesday.
In his years of experience, sinkholes aren’t common in this area.
The truck belongs to the Badger Daylighting company, which specializes in hydrovac trucks and is based out of Canada.
Workers from Badger on site had no comment.
Hall County Fire Services were on standby for most of the day, packing up the trucks by around 5 p.m. When they first arrived, the truck, which carries 1,600 gallons of water, was leaking fuel.
The first step to removing the truck from the hole was to contain the fuel leakage, suction out the remaining fuel and check the pipes.
A private contractor offloaded the 150 gallons of fuel.
Once they removed the fuel, Fire Services Capt. Zachary Brackett estimated there was approximately 5 gallons of leaked fuel in the hole.
Since the truck carries so much weight in water, the next step was to empty the tanks. All tanks were emptied, but the truck was still too heavy to lift directly out of the hole.
The state Environmental Protection Division and utility companies have been notified. No one was injured.