Rescue Engine Extricates One From Fatal Dump Truck Accident
A high speed collision involving a dump truck and a tractor trailer in front of Prince George’s Community College brought Rescue Engine 33 and Acting Chief 33 (Pelekhaty) to the scene on Friday morning. The dump truck, with a full load of sand on board, slammed into the rear of a flatbed trailer with a Moffett truck mounted forklift attached. So severe was the resulting damage that one of the wheels of the forklift became embedded in the twisted wreckage of the dump truck, which was spilling oil and diesel fuel into the roadway when Engine Company 46 arrived. After cutting the door to make access to the driver and confirm his status as a Priority 4 patient, the Rescue Engine set about controlling the environmental damage from the leaking fluids. While part of the crew initiated damming and diking operations using the truck’s own load of sand, the rest of the Rescue Engine members developed a MacGyver strategy for stopping the fuel leak, using rubber gloves, bubble gum, a paper clip, and vice grips to crimp broken fuel lines and plug the leaking tanks. HazMat companies eventually arrived and pumped off the remaining fuel from the truck’s saddle tanks, and the Rescue Engine returned after several hours to complete the extrication for the Medical Examiner.