Oil Spill Brings Loop 250 Traffic to Standstill for Hours

Oil Spill Brings Loop 250 Traffic to Standstill for Hours

By: Julia Deng
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - An oil spill Monday evening brought southbound traffic on Loop 250 to a near standstill and forced Texas Department of Transportation officials to restrict drivers to one lane between Wadley and Thomason.

"All lanes of traffic on the loop were open again around 7 p.m.," said TxDOT spokesman Gene Powell.

He could not confirm what type of vehicle the oil had spilled from, what caused the spill or what time the incident occurred.

"We saw a pick-up truck and trailer spin [out of] control and do a 360 around 3:45, just south of the Wadley exit," said Shannon Sterley-Laker, who was driving on Loop 250 at the time.

Another driver, from Andrews, reported being unable to drive through the "thick, slippery mess."

"You couldn't even drive over into the other lane [that was open] because it was already on my tires," Melody Bramley told NewsWest 9. "I didn't have a clue what [the oil] was at first. I thought it was water."

No accidents on Loop 250 were reported as a result of Monday evening's road conditions.

TxDOT officials urged drivers to find an alternate route and arrived on scene around 6 p.m. with truckloads of sand-based material to soak up the oil.

"I didn't see anyone cleaning anything up when I got there about 10 minutes before 5 [p.m.]," said Bramley. "I don't know how many cars before me had slid on it. It was all over that rental car that I had, coating my tires and it was all over the top of the mirror."

She said the oil was at least "two inches deep" on one stretch of the loop.

"I've never personally been through anything like that before."