Paint spill closes Route 97 for more than eight hours


A tractor-trailer carrying 2,500 gallons of paint ran off the road early yesterday, spilling white paint across Route 97 in Union Mills and closing the highway for more than eight hours, authorities said.

State highway workers cleaned the road, restriped it and reopened it in time for the evening rush hour, police said.

The accident occurred about 7 a.m. when William M. Burton, 43, of Joppa was driving north from Baltimore to Gettysburg, Pa., and lost control of his truck along an incline and struck a utility pole, cutting it in half, police said.

When Burton hit the pole, straps holding 10 plastic barrels filled with latex paint were severed. Some containers were thrown as far as 100 yards, said Richard McIntire, a spokesman for the state Department of the Environment, which assisted in the cleanup.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. No other vehicles were involved, and no one was injured, police said.

The paint containers struck two other utility poles and state highway signs, spreading the paint over the road.

Sun staff writer Hanah Cho contributed to this article.

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