MILLINGTON — A driver escaped injury when he lost control of his tractor-trailer and crashed on the Route 301 bridge over the Unicorn Branch of the Chester River south of Powers Lane Monday afternoon, June 3.
Vincent Stanley, 32, of Hurlock was traveling south on Route 301 at 1:40 p.m. when he told police he swerved to miss an animal in the road, according to S/Tpr. J. Bilbrough of Maryland State Police Centreville.
His tractor-trailer struck the guardrail on the right side of the road, then traveled along the concrete wall of the bridge, police said.
The 2007 Wana refrigeration trailer separated from the tractor, partially overturning and coming to rest on its side across both lanes and shoulders of Route 301 south, Bilbrough reported. The 2016 Freightliner tractor remained upright and came to rest along the guardrail to the right of the road.
Jay Falstad, executive director of Queen Anne’s Conservation Association, who lives nearby, said he heard what sounded like an explosion and saw heavy black smoke shortly after the crash.
The refrigeration unit on the trailer caught fire, causing extensive damage to the truck tractor, police said.
Police did not say if the trailer was loaded with milk when it crashed, but Falstad said, when he followed up with Maryland Department of Environment, he found out the spilled milk was contained to the roadway
Stanley was able to exit the truck before it was engulfed in flames, police said. No injuries were reported.
One of the truck’s diesel tanks became detached during the crash and went to the river, where it leaked fuel, police said. Firefighters used absorbents and tried to contain the spill, Falstad said, then a MDE crew reinforced their efforts and also pumped the remaining fuel from the tank.
One lane of Route 301 north from Route 544 to Pfalzgroff Road was closed while Crumpton and Millington volunteer fire departments extinguished the fire.
Route 301 south was closed for an extended period of time for clean up and removal of the vehicle, MSP said.
Maryland State Police Centreville, Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland Department of Environment all responded.