SOLVED: The mystery of the I-70 black goo

We helped track down the company responsible for a chemical spill on I-70.

ST. CHARLES, MO. - Keeping your car sparkling isn't easy. So imagine a simple highway drive almost ruining your car because someone spilled something dark and sticky across the lanes.

That's what happened to some St. Charles motorists last month. And they want to know where to send the bill.

After days of research, 5 On Your Side was able to trace the origin of that goo, and find out who was responsible for the damage.

Tammy Davis had no idea an evening drive down Interstate 70 would spark a month-long mystery.

"I was driving normally until it splattered on the windshield. It just smeared everywhere and I couldn't see," said Davis, of St. Charles.

Davis was driving westbound on I-70 between Cave Springs and Zumbehl Roads on July 17.

So, what was the black goo on her windshield and now coating the underside of her new car?

All Davis knew was that it was an expensive problem. Her repair estimates topped $4,000.

She thought MoDOT might have answers because they were doing resurfacing work in the area.

"The lady at risk management told me [MoDOT] found a barrel and took pictures of it," Davis said. "She told me several people had called in, in the same area, between Zumbehl and Cave Springs, that there was a spill of some kind."

MoDOT told 5OYS they were aware of the spill and actually did come out to clean it up, but they made it very clear to us they're not responsible for the damage.

In a statement, MoDOT told us: "The damage to the vehicles was caused by a foreign material spilled from a 55-gallon drum that likely fell off a truck on I-70."

But they wouldn't say any more about where the barrel might've come from. Davis was beyond frustrated.

"There's probably multiple and thousands of dollars worth of damage to several people's cars and I shouldn't have to turn that into my insurance because I did nothing wrong," said Davis.

That's when she turned to 5OYS to track down the company responsible for that renegade barrel.

We tracked down another motorist who had $14,000 worth of damage to her car after driving through the goo that same night.

She took pictures of the barrel. Our first mystery was solved: the black goo was actually an acrylic sealant.

With the manufacturer information, we traced the batch number to a construction company in Atlanta.

Their insurance company told us they were aware of the spill and were processing claims from at least one other motorist who drove through it.

We met up with Davis days later to give her the news

"Oh my gosh, that's amazing," said Davis.

The company transporting the barrel declined to comment.

Davis said she's disappointed MoDOT didn't help her identify the company responsible for thousands in damage to her car. 

"It was disappointing. They didn't want to talk to me. When I called them several times, they hung up on me.
Now, I can give this information to my insurance company and everyone is going to come out happy in the end. I'm very excited and I appreciate your help." said Davis.

If you had your vehicle damaged in this spill, we have insurance information that can help. Email 5OnYourSide@ksdk.com.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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