Loaded tractor trailer strikes underpass in Downingtown


December 4, 2023
Approximate time: 1208
Weather Conditions: Clear

Contacted to respond to Route 322 and Boot Road at the rail road bridge for a Freightliner tractor pulling a van trailer that was loaded with palletized bags of fertilizer. We were advised that the truck had made it the entire way through the arch tunnel and was in under the bridge. We were also advised that the trailer was buckled directly in front of the landing gear. Photos were sent from the scene.

Based upon the information we were given and the photos sent from the scene, we dispatched two of our heavy duty wreckers, our Landoll trailer loaded with one of our forklifts and one of our skid steer loaders, we also dispatched a heavy duty rollback and Null’s Recovery & Site Restoration to the scene.

Upon arrival, NR&SR set-up additional road closure signs, cones, and blocking vehicles to make the scene safe. We stood-by while Amtrak personnel surveyed the scene. Amtrak gave us the go ahead to begin the recovery with the stipulation that the roof of the trailer could not be in contact with the bridge while it was recovered from under the bridge.

Access was made to the back of the trailer to assess the cargo. It was found that the cargo had minimal damage and would be able to be unloaded and re-loaded onto our Landoll trailer. Part of the team onscene worked to unload the load while NR&SR worked to prepare the truck and trailer to be recovered once empty.

The skid steer loader utilized a pallet clamp to pull the skids to the back of the trailer. Once at the back of the trailer they were carried out of the trailer and set onto the roadway where the forklift then carried them to the Landoll and loaded them onto the Landoll. This process was repeated until the entire trailer was emptied and the entire load was loaded onto our trailer. The load was secured for tranpsort.

NR&SR removed the wheels and tires. The trailer was set onto the brake drums. The truck and trailer were separated. One of the heavy wreckers winched the tractor forward the remainder of the way out from under the flat bridge. The other heavy wrecker winched the trailer backwards out from under the arch tunnel. The heavy wreckers each hooked to the truck and trailer and prepared to tow them from the scene. The trailer walls and roof were strapped. Two wheels and tires were re-installed back on the trailer by NR&SR so that the trailer could be transported back to our facility.

The skid steer and fork lift were loaded onto the heavy duty rollback and secured for transport from the scene. The damaged truck, trailer, and load were transported from the accident scene to Null’s of Cochranville. The load was unloaded off of our trailer and placed inside for storage.

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