|December 28, 2017
Approximate time: 2005
Weather Conditions: Extreme cold
Contacted by the Chester County Police Radio on behalf of the West Fallowfield Township Police Department to
respond to Route 41 and Glen Run Road for a tractor trailer that had been involved in an accident. A few moments
later' the Radio Room called back and advised that there was an active fuel leak from one of the fuel tanks and we
would need to contain and pump the fuel tanks.
Based upon the information we were given, one of our heavy duty sliding rotator recovery units and a truck tractor were
dispatched to the scene. Additionally, we contacted Null's Recovery & Site Restoration to respond to the scene for the
Upon arrival, a Freightliner tractor pulling a reefer trailer loaded with mushrooms was found to have been travelling
north on Route 41 from Highland Road, as it was approaching the Glen Run Road intersection, it failed to navigate a
slight turn in the road. The unit left the right side of the roadway, the unit travelled through a yard before entering a
small wooded area. The unit struck several large trees before coming to rest in a thick area of trees and vegetation.
The tractor suffered major damage, there was an active fuel leak from the passenger side fuel tank. The hood was torn
off the truck. The front axle was torn loose and pushed back under the cab. The cab was torn loose and pushed back
into the front of the trailer, causing damage to the reefer unit. The oil pan on the truck was compromised. There was
major damage to the engine. The Fire Department had to extricate the two occupants out of the truck. The trailer was
leaning and mired in the soft dirt.
Based on the scene survey, our recovery supervisor requested that a second heavy duty sliding rotator recovery unit
be dispatched to the scene along with a rollback to transport the truck parts that were torn loose from the truck.
Additionally, he requested that NR&SR respond with a track loader to assist with clearing the trees and debris from the
truck and then to clear the roadway so that it could be reopened.
The Fire Department currently had the roadway completely shut down, however were requesting that we make the
scene to the point that at least one lane of the roadway be able to be reopened to alleviate the backlog of truck traffic
from the detour route that was in place. NR&SR was requested to work with the FD and PD to reopen one lane of travel.
Our personnel assisted with making access to the truck's fuel tanks so NR&SR could pump the fuel from the truck. Once
the fuel was pumped, we were given the go ahead to begin the recovery.
Additionally, once the fuel tanks were pumped, the equipment onscene was able to be repositioned so that traffic could
flow through the scene via the southbound shoulder one direction at a time. This effort was coordinated between
NR&SR and the fire police.
Saws were used by NR&SR to gain access to the front and side of the unit to allow our personnel the ability to rig the
unit for the recovery.
One of the heavy duty sliding rotator recovery units was positioned at the rear of the unit, on the roadway. It was set-up
on a work platform. The boom was rotated clockwise. Rigging was connected to the rear of the trailer to winch the back
end sideways up the embankment and back onto the roadway while holding it upright. Rigging was also connected to
the front of the trailer to assist with winching the loaded unit backwards and sideways.
The second heavy duty sliding rotator recovery unit was positioned beside the front end of the severely damaged
tractor. This rotator was also set up on a work platform. The boom was rotated counter clockwise. Rigging was
connected to the tractor to lift it straight up so that the oil pan was no longer resting on the ground. Rigging was also
connected to the back of the tractor to assist with winching the back of the tractor and the front of the trailer sideways
back onto the roadway.
With all rigging in place, the winch lines were connected from the respective rotators and tensioned. All of the rigging
was checked for proper connections.
Our operators donned their wireless communication headsets.
The front end of the damaged tractor was lifted so that the front axle could be removed the rest of the way from the
The two rotators worked together to bring the unit back several feet clear of the trees. As the unit was being winched,
NR&SR worked to continue to cut the large branches that were interfering with the recovery. The unit was slowly lifted
and winched back up the embankment, out of the trees and onto the roadway.
Several of our personnel worked to remove the large truck parts, including the DPF box, exhaust system, front axle, and
fuel tank from the ditch and load them onto the rollback. Once all of the loose truck parts were loaded onto the rollback,
they were secured to the rollback.
Once back on the roadway, the truck and trailer were separated. The damaged tractor was pulled out from under the
trailer, one of the rotators hooked to the front of the tractor to prepare to tow it from the scene. The rigging was
removed and returned to its respective location.
Our truck tractor hooked to the trailer. The reefer unit was able to be restarted.
The driveline was removed from the tractor, the front drive axle was chained up, wireless towlights were installed. The
cab of the truck was secured to the frame as it was torn loose from the frame and just setting on the frame rails. Several
large truck parts were cut off and removed to make the truck safe to be towed from the accident scene.
The damaged tractor and the loaded trailer were transported from the accident scene to Null's of Cochranville. Once at
Null's, the damaged truck and trailer were placed in our secure storage yard. One of our skid steer loaders worked to
unloaded the rollback that was loaded with the truck parts and place them in the storage yard with the truck.
Our equipment was then made ready for the next call.
Null's Recovery & Site Restoration
Contacted by Null's Towing to respond to Route 41 and Glen Run Road in West Fallowfield Township for an accident
involving a loaded tractor trailer off the roadway into trees with an active fuel leak.
Upon arrival, a severely mangled Freightliner tractor and fully loaded reefer trailer were found to have left the roadway,
took out several large trees, ruptured the passenger side fuel tank. The fuel tank was still actively leaking. The driver's
side fuel tank was pumped while access was being made to the passenger's side tank. The fuel leak was contained to
prevent further contamination while the tank was being pumped.
There were trees, limbs, and other natural ground coverings entangled in the truck. The Fire Department had to
extricate the two occupants from the truck.
Two portable light towers were set-up to provide a safe work environment as the fuel tanks were accessed, pumped,
and the site cleaned-up.
While the fuel leak was being handled, our personnel worked to set-up for a lane closure and the fire police were
onscene to handle traffic flow via the southbound shoulder alternating one lane at a time. Once the fuel leak was
mitigated, traffic was reopened alternating one direction at a time.
Saws were used to remove the trees from around and on top of the truck. The front axle of the truck, which was held on
by one u-bolt and an air hose was cut loose from the truck to reduce the amount of damage to the property during the
Our personnel worked hand in hand with Null's Towing throughout the recovery process. Once the truck and trailer
were back on the roadway, absorbent pads were used to remove the fuel, motor oil, and coolant that had leaked from
the truck and was puddled on the ground. The soil which was saturated in fuel and oil was removed and placed into a
salvage drum for transport from the scene for disposal. The trees and debris that was on the roadway was pushed off
Arrangements were made to return to the scene during daylight to handle the remainder of the clean-up and scene
Our equipment cleared the scene for the night. Once back at our facility, the salvage drum was off-loaded and made
ready for pick-up by our environmental waste disposal provider. The drums containing the fuel which was pumped from
the truck were off-loaded. The Incident Response Unit was restocked of the supplies that were used and made ready
for the next call.
12/29/17 Return to scene to handle clean-up and restoration.
A work zone was established, signs and cones were placed to close the northbound shoulder of Route 41. Work began
to remove the truck parts and debris from the area in which the truck crashed into. The downed trees were cut up and
loaded into the dump trailer for transport from the scene, several loads of debris were transported from the scene. The
ruts in which the truck let were fixed. The areas in which the fuel and oil soaked dirt had been removed were filled in.
The scene was returned to pre-accident conditions. The traffic control equipment was picked up and our equipment
cleared the scene.
A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE COCHRANVILLE FIRE COMPANY FOR THEIR
HELP ONSCENE ALONG WITH THE CHRISTIANA AND KEYSTONE VALLEY FIRE
POLICE FOR THEIR HELP!