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Diesel fuel spills after semi and truck crash

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Roughly 180 gallons of diesel fuel spilled Friday morning when a Chevrolet truck and a semitrailer crashed along Highway 371, south of Brainerd near Fort Ripley.

Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said slippery road conditions were a factor in the crash. Stunek said when the truck hit the semitrailer it ruptured the two saddle tanks that hold roughly 120 gallons of fuel each. Firefighters, using their Hazmat equipment, were able to stop the spill and salvage around 50-60 gallons. The diesel fuel was contained within 50 feet of where the truck and semitrailer collided.

The crash was reported at 7:20 a.m., in front of a driveway off the northbound lane, about 15 miles south of Brainerd. The fuel flowed down the residential driveway and into the ditch.

A Minnesota Department of Transportation crew was on scene helping sand the icy roads and sand the area when the fuel leaked to help absorb it.

The Minnesota State Patrol and the Crow Wing County’s Sheriff Office assisted at the scene and helped with traffic control. Traffic had to slow down even more as the northbound lane of Highway 371 was down to one lane.

The state patrol reported that Derek A. Harren, 21, St. Cloud, who was the driver of the truck, refused treatment at the scene but agreed to be transported by North Memorial Ambulance to Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd, where he was treated and then released.

The driver of the 2011 Kenworth semitrailer, Del McKay Schalz, 59, Baxter, was not injured.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will be investigating the fuel spill.

Assisting a dozen firefighters responded to the scene. Peterson Towing also assisted at the scene.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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