Iowa trucking line faces $600,000 fish fine

| 1/2/2002

An Iowa Trucking company could be fined more than $600,000 for a Nov. 11 tanker accident near Idaho Springs, CO, that spilled 8,000 gallons of fuel into a creek, killing more than 17,000 trout. Under Colorado law, the company can be fined $35 per fish.

Joseph Neilson, a driver for Webster, IA-based Iowa Tanklines, was cited for careless driving in the accident. The spill was one of three major crashes in Colorado involving the trucking company over a two-month span.

An Iowa Tanklines tanker erupted in a fireball after crashing on Interstate 70 near Glenwood Springs on Dec. 7, killing the driver. Another tanker overturned on Loveland Pass on Oct. 31, spilling a small amount of fuel.

The latest spill reportedly killed 95 percent of the trout in a 4.2-mile stretch of Clear Creek between Dumont and the western edge of Idaho Springs. About a third of the fish in the stretch that runs through the city were also killed.