A semi hauling about 20 tons of fertilizer, rolled over in rural Fayette County, spilling it's load into a creek, killing a number of fish.


It happened Monday afternoon, 2 miles south of Wadena, in Fayette County. Deputies responding to the semi rollover on "D" Avenue, found a Freightliner semi pulling a trailer, had rolled onto it's side, spilling about 40,000 pounds of fertilizer.

The driver, 61 year old Clete Christianson of Elgin, was hauling the fertilizer in a semi owned by Nutrien Ag Services of West Union. Christianson had been driving south on "D" Avenue, when he over-corrected the steering wheel. The move caused the trailer to tip over.

Both the tractor and the trailer skidded across the road into a ditch, rolling over. An unknown amount of fertilizer fell into a tributary of Brush Creek. The high ammonia levels killed numerous fish.

Workers from Nutrien Ag dammed the stream and started to clean up the waterway.
The Iowa DNR was also called out, to help in the cleanup and investigate the incident.

Water samples were taken to a lab. The DNR is monitoring the creek, and checking downstream. The agency will also consider enforcement action.

The Fayette County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Arlington Fire Department and EMS, Emergency Management Services, and the Iowa DNR.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app