Small Town News

Disaster and Accident

Tractor-trailer accidents jam up highway travel near Hancock

The Hancock News of Hancock, Maryland

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Two tractor-trailer accidents almost nine hours apart last Wednesday, October 28, had Interstate 70 shut down for most of that day, and a third truck crash blocked 1-68 last Saturday.

The first accident occurred around 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Maryland State Police said the driver lost control of the tractor-trailer due to the rain and struck the guardrail, causing damage to six segments.

The truck's saddle tanks ruptured and spilled fuel into the grass area on the westbound side of the highway, said Hancock Fire Chief Robert Hoopen-sardner.

Hazmat 20 out of Hagerstown was called in to pump the remaining diesel fuel in both tanks, he said.

A second truck accident occurred around 10:50 p.m. at the 3-mile-marker where a truck pulling a double trailer overturned, blocking all east-bound lanes.

According to police, the driver of the UPS tractor-trailer lost control of the vehicle, which flipped onto its side.

The driver got out of the vehicle prior to any emergency equipment arriving on the scene, said Maryland State Police. The tractor and first trailer rolled over onto their sides, blocking eastbound traffic on the interstate. The second trailer stayed on its wheels and remained attached to the first trailer.

Fire and EMS units were on the scene for four hours, Hoopengardner said.

During the closure, east-bound traffic was detoured through Hancock until early Thursday morning with the help of State Highway Administration workers and Hancock Fire Police.

The third tractor-trailer accident, which took place around 1:11 a.m. on Saturday morning, October 31, blocked westbound Interstate 68.

Police said a tractor-trailer rolled over near the Sandy Mile overpass, carrying bundles of shredded paper weighing approximately 44,000 pounds.

Maryland State Police said the driver lost control of his tractor-trailer before flipping on to its right side.

Hancock Fire Company and Special Operations 20 were on scene to clean up between eight to 10 gallons of motor oil and antifreeze that had leaked across both lanes of the interstate, Hoopengardner said.

When tow vehicles righted the tractor-trailer, the side of the trailer ripped open, spilling bundles of paper along the roadway.

No injuries were reported in any of the accidents. Police said all three drivers were at fault in their respective accidents.

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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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