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309 Crash Causes Fuel Spill

Northbound lanes, Upper State Road affected by cleanup; tractor-trailer said to be "t-boned" by pickup truck

An indeterminate amount of diesel fuel had leaked into a Montgomery storm drain on Monday afternoon following a collision between a tractor-trailer and a pickup truck at the intersection of Bethlehem Pike and Upper State Road.

Personnel from the Montgomery Township Public Works department and the Fire Department of Montgomery Township had attempted to soak up some of the fuel spill with sand and could be seen accessing the sewer through a manhole.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Mike Wells of Lubbock, Tx., said he had been proceeding northbound on Route 309 at about 35-40 miles per hour when he was struck on the right side by a black Toyota Tundra pickup truck headed south on Upper State Road.

"I had the green light," Wells said. "He 't-boned' me."

Wells was not injured.

The impact ruptured the rig's fuel tank, which drained its contents onto the roadway. Wells estimated that about 100 gallons of fuel were in the tank at the time of the crash, which happened just before noon.

The stormwater system is in the area of the Neshaminy Creek watershed. Wissahickon Valley watershed is near the intersection too.

The fuel collected in a nearby retention basin, according to The Reporter.

Lynda Rebarchak, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection community relations coordinator, said none of the fuel found its way to local waterways, according to the article.

Northbound traffic was reduced to one lane through the intersection as cleanup progressed. The pickup truck, which sustained heavy visible front end damage, was placed aboard a flatbed truck for removal.

Southbound traffic on Upper State Road was limited to making a left turn onto Route 309.

It was not immediately clear whether the driver of the pickup had sustained any injuries. Wells said the pickup's driver appeared Hispanic and didn't seem to speak English.

Officials at the scene were not immediately available for comment.

The tractor-trailer was owned by Lamb Motorsports in Littleton, CO. Wells said he had just delivered a "classic" car to a residence on Hartman Road. The trailer contained a second classic car, which Wells said was undamaged in the accident.

Julie Thomas January 14, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Will this have any environmental safety impact on the immediate residential neighborhoods?
Tony Di Domizio January 15, 2013 at 01:30 AM
DEP said fuel did not reach local waterways; it was captured in a retention basin

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