Mass. Crews Cleaning Up After Tanker Rolls Over, Leaks Fuel

(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Arlington, Mass.) - "This guy was coming, flying through the West Medford side, through the rotary," said runner Richard Cain.

When Cain saw a tanker truck headed across the bridge from Medford into Arlington Friday afternoon, he says he knew it was going too fast to make the turn into the rotary.

"The trailer started to go over and then the cab smashed down with it and he was ejected through the windshield, when I got over to him, he was on top of the windshield bleeding out of his head," Cain said.

As Cain called 9-1-1, he snapped these shots of a witness and Arlington Police K-9 Officer Mike Hogan helping the driver.

Arlington Police Lt. James White said, "He was just getting off at 4 o’clock, and he was just heading home when the call came in and he was the first one to arrive."

It was earlier this week that Officer Hogan rescued people from a fire when he was also off duty.

"He’s having a busy week," Arlington Police Capt. Richard Flynn said.

And as the driver was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, haz-mat crews worked to contain the 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled into the nearby Mystic River.

"They are deploying booms, they’re now moving west on the river to catch it where it’s at, then we will go further down the river towards Alewife Brook Parkway and put in more containment booms, as redundancy from keeping it to go further," Arlington Fire Chief Robert Jefferson said.

Chief Jefferson says he believes because crews worked quickly the spill has been contained within half a mile of where the fuel first went in.

"Remediation crews are already on scene to start vacuuming what has gotten into the river, the main concern now is contain it, keep it where it is and then get it out of there," he said.

And that’s a concern to residents here as well, who say this accident could have been prevented if drivers would slow down and yield.

Liz Montgomery, who lives nearby, said, "The rotary is just awful, we’ve always referred to it as ‘Dead Man Curve Rotary.'"

"When you’re trying to go across, you’ve got to play chicken right because cars are on that bridge and they just keep coming," resident Lisa Pratito said.

Massachusetts State Police are not releasing the driver's name at this time, only identifying him as a 65-year-old Framingham man who was working for J.P. Noonan Transportation out of West Bridgewater, Mass.

State Police say he is currently in serious condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. They say no charges have been filed at this point.

Officials on scene are asking drivers to avoid the area of Mystic Valley Parkway near the High Street rotary on the Arlington-Medford line.

They say the roadway may be shut down at least through the morning so the spill can be cleaned up from the streets.

Haz-mat and remediation crews may be on scene all weekend trying to clean-up the spill into the Mystic River, but officials say they believe it has been contained.

Contact Us