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Montana trucking company owner jailed for his part in 2012 oil plant explosion

14 November 2018

A Montana trucking company owner has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison after being convicted of criminal charges stemming from an explosion at an oil processing plant. A US District court also ordered Donald Wood of Woody's Trucking to pay $1.3 million in penalties and restitution after three workers were seriously injured in the 2012 explosion at Custom Carbon Processing Inc. near the town of Wibaux.

Wood and the company were convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, transporting hazardous materials without proper documentation and obstructing an investigation.

Prosecutors said the company was hauling flammable natural gas condensate after telling its insurance company it was hauling water.

In May, a jury found the company and its owner guilty of 13 of 14 federal charges, for lying about insurance coverage for hazardous materials following an explosion that injured several people, according to federal court documents.

On February 6, 2012, Wood entered into a miscellaneous work agreement with Durango, Colorado-based Saddle Butte Pipeline, which has a natural gas processing plant in North Dakota. Per the agreement, Woody’s Trucking agreed to transport hazardous natural gas condensate liquid to oil-processing plants in Montana.

Three days later, Wood submitted a copy of the agreement to his insurance company to add Saddle Butte Pipeline as an additional insured party. However, according to court documents, Wood failed to disclose the fact that his trucking company would be transporting hazardous material.

On December 29, 2012, an explosion occurred during the offloading of hazardous natural gas condensate being transported by Woody’s, according to the federal indictment. Three people were injured and extensive damage was done to the receiving facility.

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