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Friday, December 11, 2009

Truck Driver Escapes Injury Despite Crushed Cab

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

On Thursday, December 10, 2009, at about 5:00 PM, Firefighters and Paramedics responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash. Fire/EMS units arrived on the scene of the Outer Loop of Route 495 (Capital Beltway) just north of the Pennsylvania Avenue (Route 4) interchange. A tractor trailer loaded with 45 to 50,000 lbs. of lumber from North Carolina was making its way to Loyola, PA. The adult male driver stated he was travelling at 50 -55 mph when traffic suddenly stopped. The driver stated, "I jammed on the brakes as hard as I could and did not think I was going to be able to stop". The truck stopped without striking any vehicles, however, the load didn't. It went straight ahead over the cab, crushing the cab and bending the tractor in a "U". Rescue Squad 827, Morningside, was able to gain access to the driver using their heavy duty hydraulic tools and equipment. Once the door was removed, a limited medical exam was performed and the driver was uninjured. He self extricated through what was left of his doorway. He was thoroughly examined by paramedics and he eventually refused transport, against medical advice. According to Incident Commander Battalion Chief Ron Bridges; “The truck driver was fortunate to have escaped without injury based on what I saw was left of the cab of the truck.”

The load of lumber was spread across all lanes of traffic on the Outer Loop which temporarily closed the Beltway until the scene was cleared. The Fire/EMS Departments Hazardous-Materials Team cleaned up diesel fuel from one of the trucks saddle tanks which was damaged by part of the load. The State Highway Administration ensured the area was clear of debris and started traffic moving again. The Maryland State Police-Forestville Barracks investigated the crash.

Attached photos are by Brooks Howard, Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant, PGFD

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