New Kingstown Fire Chief Curt Hall heard a “boom” outside his window just around 8:15 p.m. Thursday evening so he, of course, turned to see what happened.
“In the split second it took me to look out the window, all I saw was a fireball,” he said.
A tractor-trailer had crashed into a tree outside of his home on Locust Point Road in Silver Spring Township.
Hall jumped into action, pulling his chief’s vehicle around to the front of the house. He radioed dispatch to call in the crash before setting to work putting out the fire with an extinguisher.
It wasn’t long before his fellow firefighters were on the scene. They finished knocking down the fire and rescued the driver from the cab of the truck, which had little damage from the crash.
“The crews performed flawlessly,” Hall said. “Our job is to get that person out and transported as soon as possible and that’s exactly what happened last evening.”
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Hall said the driver had a “coughing or sneezing fit” that sent his rig into the tree located 15 feet outside his front window. The driver was taken to a local hospital.
There was no warning and no skid marks on the road, Hall said. Crews remained on the scene until around 10 p.m..
H&J Towing removed the wreckage.
The Department of Environmental Protection came to the scene Friday to assess the damage. Hall said a 20-foot by 30-foot area will need to be dug up and remediated due to fuel and oil leakage from the crash.
As for the tree that stopped the truck from causing more damage by hitting homes, “only time will tell,” Hall said.
The tree is a sturdy sycamore planted in the 1950s when Hall’s grandfather built the house so he’s hopeful it will be OK. The crash only pulled bark from the tree.
The bigger risk is from the fuel seepage and the remediation work, he said
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