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Charges Filed in 2012 Lincoln Heights Oil Spill

A waste hauling company and a truck driver are set to be arraigned July 3 on a half-dozen misdemeanors stemming from a roughly 40-gallon spill of hydraulic fluid, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Waste Resources Recovery Inc. and truck driver Jorge Favela Ramirez, also known as Jorge Ramirez Favala, are charged in a May 17, 2012, spill of hydraulic oil at Daly Street and Pasadena Avenue in Lincoln Heights, according to the misdemeanor complaint.

City of Los Angeles investigators found video from a nearby bank that shows Ramirez pull over, get out and look at hydraulic fluid coming from the truck’s undercarriage before looking around, getting back in and driving off, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

A motorcycle rider crashed after hitting the slippery patch, and driver lost control of a car on the oil, striking some parked cars, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

No one was hurt.

Investigators found a metal hydraulic fluid cap and filter, and interviews with Waste Resources Recovery Inc.’s management and employees the following day confirmed that a truck matching the vehicle caught on video was serviced a day earlier for a missing cap and filter.

“Instead of trying to fix it or report it, it appears that the driver of the truck simply chose to drive away with hydraulic fluid gushing from his truck,” said City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. “Not only did the driver create an environmental hazard in the street that ran into the storm drains, but the spill, which was his responsibility to report, became a traffic hazard for unsuspecting motorists. This is unacceptable behavior.”