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Refinery truckers discuss boycott delivering Las Vegas gas because of road drifters

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 14:53:49-04

(KTNV) — Truckers bringing fuel into Las Vegas say they're fed up with drivers doing "high-performance maneuvers” and blocking the only access road to the refinery where they pick up fuel to deliver to various valley gas stations.

They say this is creating unnecessary danger, putting many lives at risk with the cargo they're carrying.

"We don't want to hit anybody," said trucker Jim Delliplaine. "We just want to do our job."

Delliplaine hauls fuel from the UNEV refinery just outside of Apex, a routine drive that has become unnecessarily dangerous. Drivers with high-performance street cars gather to do burnouts and drifting maneuvers on the only access road to the facility.

"They're doing around 50 miles an hour out here, just drifting, and if they blow a tire, they're going to run into the crowd and kill people,” he said.

Delliplaine says the problem happens frequently at night, any day of the week. It's gotten more frequent over the past year. He thinks the isolated area makes an attractive spot for high-performance practice.

"Why here? They've got the wide-open spot. They're out in the middle of the desert. No police," he said.

He says he's called the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department but has struggled with getting cops on the scene in time. The drifters are always a step ahead.

"They hear what's going on, and then they take off. Metro shows up, there's nobody here,” Delliplaine said.

Another trucker, Jamie Stevens, says the drifting has caused near-collisions, with the debris left from cars and tires creating hazardous road conditions.

"If a driver encounters that debris while he's loaded and he's upwards of 100,000 pounds or 80,000 pounds, it's definitely going to do some damage,” he said.

Stevens says the exhibition driving creates deadly risk with potentially catastrophic consequences when hauling flammable fuel.

"Every day we drive, we have a risk to our lives, but this is a type of risk we don't want to put up with and be involved with,” he said.

Delliplaine says they are now considering a boycott, potentially refusing to transport fuel from this refinery.

"They're talking right now — drivers talking of not delivering fuel into Las Vegas until this is resolved. That means no gas stations will get any fuel,” he said.

He has a simple message for these drifters:

"Go find another place. Don't do it here, because there's a big safety issue here,” Delliplaine said.

LVMPD says their traffic division is aware of these incidents. The agency says their RAID team, which does enforcement on illegal street racing, is conducting an ongoing investigation.