After creating a hazardous situation for several folks at a gas station in Oconee County last weekend, an Athens man was arrested for drunk driving.
According to police, the man accidentally ran over an 18-wheeler's fuel pump and hose with his Ford pickup truck. Authorities had to evacuate the area because the incident could have caused a massive explosion. But when police arrived, they reported that they could smell alcohol on the Athens man. After looking inside the man's truck, authorities reported that they found several containers of alcohol in his vehicle. The containers were allegedly open.
The incident happened on Saturday around 3:30 p.m. at a gas station off of Epps Bridge Road. A 72-year-old Athens man was driving his Ford pickup when he accidentally backed his truck into a gas hose and pump that was being used at the time to fill up an 18-wheeler fuel tanker.
Because the gas pump and hose led to an underground tank containing fuel and gasoline vapor, authorities were called to the scene to help clear the accident scene without causing an explosion.
Before removing the pickup truck, authorities had to evacuate a parking lot near the gas station. After carefully disconnecting the tanker, emergency crews then had to use a wrecker to safely remove the pickup truck from the tanker's hose and fuel pump. Crews had to remove the pickup without starting the vehicle in order to make sure a spark didn't accidentally cause an explosion.
The driver of the Ford pickup was arrested after the accident and charged with driving while intoxicated and for having an open container in his vehicle.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald, "Oconee County deputies arrest Athens man after he parks on gas hose, causes partial evacuation," Erin France, June 2, 2012