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Tanker truck accident shuts down I-70 for much of Friday

October 14, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Interstate 70 eastbound was closed for about 12 hours Friday after an accident involving a tanker truck filled with formaldehyde.

Several people sustained minor injuries in the 6:20 a.m. accident, police said.

The 45,000-gallon tank did not leak, but the truck could not be moved until the hazardous material was pumped into another tanker that arrived about noon, Maryland State Police said.

The tanker truck, driven by Larry Aldrich, 33, of Toledo, Ohio, jackknifed and rolled over onto a van to avoid hitting a tractor-trailer that had already jackknifed, police said.

Driver Tina Longstreet, 33, of Milford, Ohio, had braked and swerved to avoid hitting a slower moving truck ahead, police said. Longstreet, whose trailer was loaded with empty aerosol cans, was cited for negligent driving.

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The van, owned by Delta Electric, was driven by Robert McCusker, 55, of Hancock. Tom Gordon, 22, of Needmore, Pa., was a passenger.

McCusker was listed in good condition at Washington County Hospital. Gordon and Aldrich were treated and released, a hospital spokesman said.

Police diverted traffic at the Clear Spring exit until I-70 reopened about 6:15 p.m.

A team from Washington County Special Operations responded to the crash to oversee the transfer of the chemicals into a new tanker truck, Chief John Bentley said.

At about 10:15 a.m., traffic was backed up for at least a mile, Clear Spring Fire Department officials said.

Staff writers Pepper Ballard and Scott Butki contributed to this story.

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