Manure tanker topples near Freeborn

Published 7:28 am Wednesday, October 31, 2012

FREEBORN — A driver was injured Saturday when a tanker truck full of pig manure toppled on the west side of Freeborn.

Saxon Warmka, 23, of Easton was cited for failure to use due care. He was transported by ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea with injuries that weren’t life threatening, according to the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office.

The sealed tanker belonged to M&M Family Farms, owned by Mike and Nicole Swanson of rural Wells. It had 6,000 gallons of manure inside. The Sheriff’s Office said only about five gallons escaped. A deputy contacted the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and found that because there was no direct exposure to waterway, no MPCA report was needed.

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The time of the incident was 11:31 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office states in its report.

The fact that no manure escaped “was about the only bonus that came out of it,” said Mike Swanson.

The Freightliner tractor and its trailer were heavily damaged, the report states. Allen’s Tow-N-Travel uprighted the semi and hauled it to Albert Lea.

Warmka was westbound on Freeborn County Road 29 and failed to negotiate the corner for northbound County Road 6, the report states. The tractor and its tanker trailer then rolled into the west-side ditch.

The M&M crew came to the site of the rollover and drained the tanker, transferring the manure into various other trucks, the Sheriff’s Office stated.

Swanson said he is waiting on the insurance adjuster to find out the extent of the damage to the truck and trailer. He said Warmka broke a collarbone and is recovering at home now.

Assisting the Sheriff’s Office were the Freeborn Fire Department and the Minnesota State Patrol.

The Sheriff’s Office contacted the Freeborn County Highway Department about damage to the roadway and ditch.