Tractor-Trailer Hauling Waste Crashes, Leaves Smelly Mess

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WEST PENN TOWNSHIP -- Crews in Schuylkill County have spent most of the day cleaning up a big smelly mess.

Police are investigating a crash that caused a tractor trailer carrying municipal waste to flip over.

When you mix a 90 degree day and human sewage, it makes for one smelly day; but that's what the Conley Farm in West Penn Township had on its hands. They woke up Wednesday morning to quite the mess.

The Conley family in West Penn Township had an interesting wake-up call: an overturned trailer and municipal waste all over their front yard.

"God only knows what was in it," said Michele Conley. "I have kids, dogs, they can't be out front. It took out our mailbox, so I'll have to get that taken care of."

Michele Conley says police explained to her how this mess ended up on her property.

"The trailer flipped over. It broke free from the fifth wheel, which is what connects it to the truck, snapped off and just kind of slid down the road."

No one was injured but the whole thing sure did leave a mess.

The crash also took out a utility pole. Crews from PPL spent most of the day replacing that. So to top it off, the Conley family had no power.

When the trailer slid, Conley says it took out most of her fence, so the family had to move around some of their cows.

She says even though she deals with farm animals on a daily basis, whatever came out of that trailer smelled much worse.

"We're used to the smell of poop. This is not the normal poop smell."

The Department of Environmental Protection did come to check it out and determined the sludge is called bio-solids which is basically treated human waste.

It can be used for manure and was heading to another farm near Tamaqua.

But it's usually not all dumped out at once, and goes in the fields not the front yard.

"They had probably about 10 guys that were here cleaning everything up. They were really good," Conley said.

The people who own the farm say they've seen their fair share of crashes on Route 443 over the years, but nothing quite like this one.

"It's a very busy road and this is the second time we've replaced the fence this year, so not surprising but definitely odd."

West Penn Township Police are still investigating that crash.

Route 443 is expected to reopen Wednesday night after PPL crews fix that utility pole.

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