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Truck driver faces $136 fine after metal balls spill on West Seattle street

2 lb. balls spilled on busy Seattle street damaging several cars (KOMO Photo)

SEATTLE, Wash. - The Seattle Police Department cited the truck driver for failing to secure the load in Wednesday’s steel ball spill where 44,000 pounds of heavy balls rolled out of an 18-wheeler truck.

The citation carries a $136 fine.

The spill happened on West Seattle’s Genesee Hill as rush hour was getting underway. Several cars were damaged but no one was hurt.

“I looked up the street and there was a sea of balls rolling down the hill making an incredible noise and hitting the cars that are here.” said Robert Duffy who lives in the neighborhood.

Robert Herman, who was driving the truck, said he had just picked up the heavy grinding balls two miles away from where the spill happened. He was headed to Salt Lake City when his load began to pour out of his truck.

“I’m looking back and I see all these balls rolling down the street,” he said.

Herman told KOMO News the balls spilled out because they weren’t load and secured properly.

“I’m going to check the load better and make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. They’ve got to have some blocks in there, some wood blocks, otherwise I won’t take it unless they do it,” said Herman.

Washington law requires drivers to secure their load.

“Our commercial vehicle troopers encourage drivers to inspect their load before they take off because I’m sure the drivers aren’t the ones loading their own vehicle,” said State Trooper Rick Johnson.

According to Herman, that was the case with the steel balls. They were loaded by another company.

“Make sure your load is secure,” said Johnson.

Washington State Patrol said in 2017, there were 89 citations in King County for failing to secure a load. So far in 2018 there have 87.

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