Diesel tank filled with regular gas at Tampa gas station leaves driver stranded

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A quick work trip from north Florida left one driver stranded in Tampa after he unknowingly filled his diesel pickup truck with regular gasoline.

The mix-up happened shortly after midnight Thursday at the Circle K Shell Station near Dale Mabry Highway and Hoedt Road. Sean Irion said it forced him to call in a tow company for assistance. 

Irion was on his way from north Florida to pick up a new welder but needed to fill up his Ford F-350 at the diesel pump. Right after, his engine went out on him. 

"I put fuel in my truck, started it up, let my truck fire up for a minute," he told FOX 13. "I reset my odometer and the truck started making an extremely loud noise. The RPMs went really high and the oil pressure dropped out. I shut the engine down and started checking to see what was going on with it, and seems like the engine's blown up."

The driver said he informed the clerk, who then checked the pump and reportedly told him that it appeared the diesel tanks had been filled with regular gasoline by mistake.

"Gas in a diesel is just, it's bad lubrication and everything comes apart," Irion said, adding that he believes at least one other driver was affected. "Somebody else did fuel up here as this was going down. They pulled out spitting and popping. Hopefully, they made it home without breaking down on the highway."

Management said they notified Circle K's corporate office about the mix-up. FOX 13 has also reached out to corporate and is awaiting a response. 

Irion had to stay with a friend after getting his truck towed. He said he planned to take his truck to a repair shop and would likely need a new engine. He hopes he will receive assistance from the company to pay his insurance deductible on replacing the engine. 

Orange cones and tape could be seen around the gas pumps Thursday morning. However, an assistant manager told Fox 13 this was from construction work and unrelated to the fuel mix-up. 

A representative from Shell issued the following statement: 

"Shell Oil Products US takes product quality and customer satisfaction seriously. The Shell retail fuels business in the U.S. primarily supplies quality motor fuels to independent wholesalers and licensees who operate under the Shell brand and sell Shell-branded fuels. So while the name on the sign reflects the brand of the motor fuel being sold on the premises, the day-to-day site operations are the legal responsibility of the wholesaler, site owner and/or operator."