Disaster Narrowly Avoided When Semi Crashes Off Thruway in Bowmansville
September 16th, 2011|
September 16, 2011
A 51-year-old male from Queens, New York, recently crashed a semi-truck off the Thruway in Bowmansville. The driver plowed through a guardrail before nearly colliding with a gas line valve—an incident that authorities now say could have caused a disastrous explosion.
The crash occurred around 2:37 a.m. on Friday, September 9, when the driver lost control of his 2006 Volvo truck. The rig sideswiped another car before crossing the grass center median, traveling across both eastbound lanes, and crashing through a guardrail and down an embankment. The rig came to a rest after destroying a shed that contained a National Fuel gas line valve.
Lancaster Emergency Management Team Coordinator Robert McPeek told The Buffalo News that the crash “could have caused a big explosion” had the truck not missed hitting the major line by “about a foot.”
As a precaution, police shut down an 18-mile stretch of the Thruway between Pembroke and Youngmann Expressway and evacuated residents in about 20 nearby homes.
The Buffalo News reports that the driver, who was listed in fair condition earlier this week, may have suffered a stroke while driving.
The State Police’s commercial vehicle investigation unit is still working to determine the cause of the crash.