The driver of a bleach-carrying tractor-trailer in a Thursday rollover in eastern Utah's Daggett County was expected to be released from the hospital Saturday, but it will be several weeks before the mess is cleaned up.
The chemical spill posed no threat to motorists and State Road 44 remains open, according to a news release from the Daggett County Sheriff's Office on Friday.
On Thursday, the semi packing 3,600 gallons of bleach product rolled, spilling sodium chlorite liquid about five miles south of Manila, said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Steve Winward.
The semi was removed from a ravine on Friday, Winward said, and a hazmat company is doing the cleanup, which could take two to four weeks.
Some of the chemical "spilled into a waterway that feeds into Flaming Gorge," Winward said. He did not know what impact, if any, the spill would have on wildlife or recreationists at Flaming Gorge.
Ryan Mosley, Flaming Gorge project leader and biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said he searched the banks of the Sheep Creek spill area Thursday and Friday and did not find any fish deaths resulting from the accident.
"If it was a substantial fish kill ... we would see carcasses along the creek," Mosley said Saturday. "I'm gratified to see we didn't have any observable mortalities."
He noted, though, that the small kokanee salmon eggs in the creek hatch this time of year and are hard to see.
Sheep Creek is also running high as a result of snowmelt runoff, Mosley said, and the increased water volume will help minimize potential impacts.
The driver suffered cuts and bruises in the accident. He told troopers he lost control of the vehicle while trying to avoid hitting an animal on the road.