Trucking company fined $250,000 in 2017 crash, acid leak

In this March 2017, file photo, the remains of several tractor trailers sit on Highway 401 near Lansdowne, Ont. One person was killed in the crash and there was also a chemical spill. The trucking company behind the truck that had the acid spill has been fined $250,000. (@XBR_Traffic/Twitter via Newswatch Group)

BROCKVILLE – A trucking company, whose driver died in a March 2017 pileup on Highway 401 near Lansdowne, has been fined $250,000.

Titanium Trucking Services Inc. of Bolton, Ont. was fined $250,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $62,500 after being found guilty in a Brockville court this month in relation to a fluorosilicic acid spill two years ago. The company will have to pay a total of $312,500 within the next two years.

The truck – heading from Montreal to Burlington – was part of an 81,000 kilogram (179,000 pound) delivery of the liquid when it was involved in a chain-reaction pileup during a winter storm on March 14, 2017.

“As a result of the collision 15 totes of fluorosilicic acid ejected through the front wall of the trailer and also came to rest in the roadside ditch,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Environment.

Eight of those totes were punctured, spilling 8,000 liters (1,759 gallons) of acid. The driver was also “doused” in the acid and later died of his injuries in hospital. First responders also had to be decontaminated after coming in contact with the chemical.

The chemical is commonly used for fluoridating municipal water systems but, in concentrate, it’s a dangerous good and highly corrosive.

The spill also caused a lengthy environmental cleanup.