Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 14, 2004

Driver misses geese, hits ditch, spills diesel fuel

By Ryan Gueningsman

Staff Writer

It was trying to do a good deed that put a truck driver from Iowa in the ditch Tuesday morning, just west of Howard Lake, on Highway 12 near the industrial park.

Daniel Perkins, 45, of Estherville, Iowa, was hauling 11 pallets of eggs from Iowa and set to deliver them at Sonstegard Foods when a flock of geese walked out in front of him.

Perkins said he swerved to miss the geese, but ended up going off of the road, breaking the barrier, and ending up near a building in the industrial park.

As a result of the accident, a little more than 90 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the gas tank and into wet areas near the spot where Perkins left the road.

“Those guys (the Howard Lake Fire Department) did a good job of isolating the diesel fuel,” said Sgt. Scott Boerner of the Minnesota State Patrol. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency responded from Fridley to the scene and began working up the soil.

Perkins was not injured in the accident, and the eggs were inspected and about 90 percent of them were salvagable, Boerner said.

Two tow trucks had to be used to pull the semi truck out of the soft ground, and his truck was taken to Souix City, Iowa for repairs.

“It cost $500 for towing,” Perkins said. There are also repair costs that will be incurred. “I would have been better off if I’d have hit the . . . geese.”

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