SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Georgia couple, making a 1,500-mile trip to Sturgis, ran into an unexpected detour in Sioux Falls.

Shortly after filling up their pickup with gasoline at a Circle K off the interstate, they say their truck stopped running. They called KELOLAND News to investigate.

Sabra and Danny Dupree were on their way to Sturgis on August 7, when they ran into a detour on their trip in Sioux Falls.

A record five and a half inches of rain fell in the Sioux Falls area on Sunday morning, August 7.
The Duprees were just rolling into town, hauling their bikes to the Sturgis Rally.

“Pulled into IHOP and ate at IHOP and pulled next door to the gas station and filled up the tank,” Sabra Dupree said.

“The minute we pulled out the gas station, we just a quarter mile up the road, it just started sputtering and sputtering and choking like it wasn’t getting gas,” Danny Dupree said.

The couple had to wait until Monday to get their 2020 Dodge pickup into the dealership here in Sioux Falls.

The water/gasoline mixture drained from the Dupree’s truck fuel rail

According to the receipt from Billion automotive, the fuel rail on the truck was full of water.

“Through that rail line it had like 70 percent water in there,” Sabra said.

Sabra is holding a sample of what the dealership drained out of her vehicle.

“So we just paid the bill, $1,128 to get the truck fixed. And there’s documentation that gas station gave us a full tank of mostly water,” Sabra said.

Page 1 of Billion Receipt
Page 1 of Billion Receipt
Contributed to DocumentCloud by Angela Kennecke (KELO-TV) • View document or read text

As you’d expect, Sabra called the Circle K station on West 41st Street to warn them and to make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else.

“I understand that accidents happen, but I have called since Monday to this particular gas station (but to) and the lady was not helpful at all. She said she was supposed to make a claim. She never made a claim. I asked the workers to call the manager. They refused to call the manager on her day off,” Sabra said.

At the end of the week, Sabra had made countless calls to Circle K to try to resolve the issue.

“Honestly, poor customer service, extremely poor. If you are now allowing your employees as a district manager to call you on your day off, shame on you, shame on them. That’s awful. They should have called me back immediately and told me what the protocol was. They should have given me an email to file my own claim, or contact information, way back on Monday, when I called,” Sabra said.

The response that Sabra Dupree got from Circle K

Finally, she got the message, pictured here, from a Circle K:

“They made us feel like we were trying to pull a fast one or something,” Danny said.

However, when standing water is high in a gas station lot, it’s possible for it to leak into the tanks.

The Duprees ended up renting a U-Haul to complete their trip and in all the incident cost them nearly $2,000, plus a day out of their vacation.

“We lost a day of travel. We lost a night where we stayed that we already had to pay for. It was a poor start to a wonderful vacation in Sturgis riding,” Sabra said.

KELOLAND Investigates reached out to Circle K, who told us that when water contamination occurs in an underground storage tank, it normally affects multiple cars. Circle K issued the following statement to KELOLAND Investigates:

At Circle K, our mission is to make our customers’ lives a little easier every day, and we take their feedback seriously. We have been in touch with the Duprees about their experience, and we are working directly with them on a resolution.

We guarantee and stand by the quality of our fuels. We continuously monitor the underground fuel storage tanks (USTs) at our stations for the presence of water, and our tanker drivers follow a standard set of best practices to detect and prevent water contamination when they make fuel deliveries. Following these processes, we have not detected water in the tanks at this station, and we have received no related complaints from other customers*.

We invite any customer who has an issue arising from a visit to one of our stores or fueling locations to call us at (800) 308-2570 so that we can attend to their needs and concerns.

Circle K Statement to KELOLAND Investigates