On Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 8:55 am, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched to the intersection of Church Hill Road (Maryland 213) and Fey Road in Kingstown for the Motor Vehicle Collision with Injuries. This incident was located near the Kingstown Farm, Home & Garden Center. This was in response to an Automatic Aid request from Queen Annes County, to assist the Church Hill Volunteer Fire Company.
Units arrived to find a two vehicle collision involving a tractor-trailer and a small pick-up truck. The tractor-trailer had overturned, spilling it’s contents of dry fertilizer into the roadway. The commercial vehicle’s saddle tank had ruptured and diesel fuel was spilling onto the roadway. The truck driver had exited the vehicle prior to the arrival of emergency services. Upon our arrival, employees of Kingstown Farm, Home & Garden were employing sand and woods chips in an effort to contain run-off from the fuel spill. Their efforts were mostly successful. However, a small but unknown quantity of fuel did make it into a storm-water drain that ultimately leads to the Chester River.
The other vehicle was a small pick up truck. This vehicle had heavy damage to the front end and had been occupied only by the driver. This individual was also out of the vehicle upon our arrival. This patient was examined and treated at the scene by Queen Annes County Emergency Medical Services and subsequently airlifted by Maryland State Police Aviation to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Maryland. The condition of this patient is not known at this time.
In order to contain the situation and begin remediation, the fuel pump-off trailer – designed for just this type of situation, was requested from the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Company, Stevensville, Queen Annes County. The remaining fuel in both saddle tanks was safely removed into containment drums. Because an unknown quantity of diesel fuel had possibly entered the Chester River, a Chesapeake Bay tributary, the Maryland Department of the Environment was notified. They responded to the scene to evaluate the situation. Later in the day, a clean-up contractor came to the scene with a vacuum truck. Our tanker went back to the scene to dump water into the drain. This action would flush out any trapped diesel fluid remaining in the drain system. The vacuum truck then collected the water / fuel mixture for later clean-up.
Chestertown VFC operated on this incident just under two (2) hours. There were no injuries to emergency personnel. Because of this incident, Maryland 213 was closed in both directions for approximately seven (7) hours. South Bound traffic was closed in Chestertown at the intersection of Maple Avenue and Cross Street, with a secondary closure in place on Maple Avenue at the bridge. North Bound traffic was closed at Maryland 544 by the Royal Farms. Traffic was detoured through Crumpton. Anytime an incident like this disrupts traffic in this corridor, it causes major headaches and inconvenience for everyone. We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we worked to bring this incident to a safe and successful outcome.
All photographs courtesy of Ken Young. We thank him for his generosity in sharing them with us.