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June 11, 2014

8,000 gallons saved as tanker flips

— DANVILLE — A tank carrying 8,000 gallons of pool water broke from its cab Tuesday evening, rolled onto its side and snarled traffic at busy Routes 11 and 54.

Truck driver Robert Smith, 53, of Bob Smith Pool Water, Nescopeck, was uninjured in the 6:59 p.m. crash.

The tanker was about half-full when it flipped onto Route 54.

Two large wreckers, from West End Towing, of the Danville area, righted the tanker onto its wheels at 8:11 p.m.

Firefighters used booms and oil-dry to contain five gallons of fuel that had been on the side of the tanker and spilled onto the roadway.

Water from the tanker also spilled and mixed with truck fuel.

Firefighters placed booms at Routes 11 and 54 and at the Mahoning Creek Bridge to prevent fuel from entering storm sewers.

The mount of the fifth wheel of the tanker snapped off. Danville police Cpl. Jon Swank believes a mechanical problem occurred as Smith was turning from Route 11 onto Route 54.

“It looks like something in the truck failed and was likely the cause — something caused it to break,” Swank said.

The tanker was a 1968 model and the cab, a 2000 model.

The cab could be driven, Swank said.

Danville Deputy Fire Chief Ken Strausser initially planned to have firefighters drain the tanker, but West End Towing employees said they could flip the tanker without having it drained.

The crash drew a crowd, with some people watching from the levee along Mahoning Creek and others standing outside Wendy’s Restaurant and at Alpine Animal Clinic.

Route 54 lanes in the area and the Danville-Riverside Bridge tunnel were closed to traffic.

Mahoning Township police assisted Danville police. Riverside police assisted with controlling traffic at the tunnel.

Danville Fire Department, Danville fire police and a Danville ambulance responded.

 

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