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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The morning commute got a little sticky for drivers trying to make their way to work in Wilmington. A truck spilled its load of liquid asphalt along a busy road, causing delays and damage to dozens of cars.

Drivers along North College Road had to deal with the wet, sticky mess Wednesday morning after a Hilco Transport truck leaked much of its 52,000 pounds of liquid asphalt for about four miles.

"I’ve got tar all over the front of the truck, down the side of the truck, in the tires," said Heins Meeks who drove through the mess. "It’s a lot of fun."

Wilmington Police say more than 40 vehicles were damaged after driving through the hot asphalt.

"It’s a petroleum-based product and cleans up very easily with just a regular solvent," Hilco terminal manager Gary King said. "It’s not going to damage the paint or anything like that, hurt tires. There’s no way it would do that."

But mechanics at Jeff Fountain Tire Sales say that’s not the case.

"We had to take the tires off and put new tires on," mechanic Wayne Davis. "It will take the paint off the car."

Hilco says it is completely responsible for the clean-up and will make sure all cars are restored to their original condition. But for drivers, their morning commute was anything but smooth.

Highway Patrol cited the driver of the tractor trailer with failure to secure his load.

Comment on this Story

  • Ken

    This is to be expected in the “Tar Heel State”.

  • taxpayer


  • bluevr6

    It ain’t asphalt till you add the aggregate and fines.

    Its just asphalt cement.

  • Guest28451

    I suggest anyone with damage to your vehicle from this to hire an attorney.
    Hilco will just blow you off without a legal claim.
    They and their driver are just another example of unprofessionally run trucking companies in this area.
    Violating state and federal DOT laws daily….

  • Guest217

    If the company is willing to fix these problems, then why, oh why, do we need to bring in the blood suckers…..does everything have to lead to a lawsuit….what happened to trust. Can they just give them 1 chance to make good before we call in the leeches???

  • Guest13169

    Hilco is a respectable company and I know for a fact that they always act in a professional manner. It just so happens that this is a isolated incident and that they are willing to set it right honorably by picking the bill up for the cleaning. It’s typical for someone to go straight for the jugular and try to sue just to make a buck. Really!?! Show some respect!!

  • Fuck you all

    Cited for securement failure? WHAT? Fail D.O.T, just pure fail.

  • JezebelJean

    I would think that any solvent that could dissolve tar/asphalt could also dissolve paint.

  • Guest68

    You guys crack me up, I mean really. It’s a trucking company. Without them, this country would not survive. PERIOD! These are the guys that help build our roads and maintain our highways, bring food to our tables, provide the clothes on our back and deliver the supplies to put a roof over our families heads. Truck companies always get dramatic news coverage usually because of the scope of the damage they inflict when something goes wrong. From a state and federal standpoint, these companies MUST be insured to operate. They are covered for these kind of accidents. The key word here being ‘accidents’. There isn’t a trucking company out there that hasn’t had to file a claim for one reason or another. There are very strict and tightly regulated laws for these guys to run up and down our highways, but inevitably there’s going to be accidents. Whether it’s due to human error or faulty equipment, it’s going to happen. It would be foolish to think that just because it has 18 wheels, they should be operating without incident. People should cut these companies some slack and give them the chance to make things right. It’s not going to happen overnight, so be patient. Something of this magnitude takes time. Lastly, give the drivers of these mammoths a break. Stop tailgating them, and for God’s sake, STOP CUTTING IN FRONT OF THEM!! It takes a football field to stop a fully loaded semi. The truck driver ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS gets written up for accidents, even if the accident wasn’t his/her fault. Bet you didn’t know that! That’s right, if a drunk driver plows into the back of a truck sitting at a red light, the driver of the truck will receive negative points on his/her driving record. So lighten up people, and give us some space.

    OTR driver.

  • GuestDale

    WD 40 will take it off diesel fuel will take it off and as far as tires uh I have drove asphalt truck for 25 years liquid asphalt will not harm tires I use to drive in that stuff everyday


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