Tanker truck crashes on Highway 166, leaking oil into river

March 21, 2020

A tanker truck transporting oil on Highway 166 overturned and crashed into the Cuyama River on Saturday, endangering the Santa Maria Valley groundwater basin, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Shortly after 6 a.m., the truck carrying 6,000 gallons of crude oil crashed about 20 miles east of Santa Maria. The driver was not hurt.

Oil spilled into the Cuyama River and is traveling downstream towards the Twitchell Reservoir, which helps recharge the Santa Maria Valley groundwater basin.

Multiple fire units and a hazardous materials team are working to contain the spill.