Local News

Spoko Fuel mix-up puts diesel, not unleaded in driver's tanks

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. - 20532218

Diesel fuel was inadvertently pumped into tanks meant to hold unleaded gasoline at Spoko Fuel in Airway Heights, shutting down the gas station and damaging cars who fueled up there Tuesday.

KXLY sources confirm that diesel fuel was pumped into the underground tanks. It's not known when the tanks were filled with diesel or how many drivers had their vehicles damaged by the fuel mix-up.

Lee Wilkerson filled up his car around 10 a.m. and a few minutes later his car broke down in the middle of an intersection.

"I made it about half way to Airway Heights and the car started sputtering and it sounded like it was going to flame out like," Lee Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson then called his mechanic in Davenport for help.  

Mick Tareski, of Mick's Auto in Davenport, said he drained gas tanks on four cars Tuesday.  The cost to repair each car ranged between $200 and $250.

Richard Betts put $20 worth of gas in his van at Spoko Fuel, but couldn't even make it out onto the highway.

"I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it to be honest with you but now this makes sense," Richard Betts said.

The Spokane Tribe, which owns Spoko Fuel, said its distributor takes full responsibility for the mishap.  The tribe said its working to figure out how long the mix up went unnoticed and how many cars were affected.  If you pumped gas at Spoko Fuel in Airway Heights on Tuesday call R.E. Powell's Insurance Agent, Jill Peruca at 1-800-488-2869 x 445.

The Spokane Tribe said crews are decontaminating the underground tanks and hope to reopen tomorrow morning.