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Sewer district employee hurt when equipment falls

March 21, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Berkeley County Public Service Sewer District employee was injured Tuesday morning when equipment fell off the flatbed of a tractor-trailer and onto the work truck he was driving on North Queen Street at the railroad underpass, police said.

Thomas Wells Jr., 41, of Inwood, W.Va., was treated for injuries at City Hospital after Martinsburg Fire Department workers needed about 40 minutes to free him from the truck because the errant equipment had trapped him, police and fire officials said. A City Hospital nursing supervisor said Wells was not listed as a patient Tuesday night.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Mark A. Childs, 47, of Fresno, Texas, was issued a warning for failure to obey a traffic control device advising the clearance height of the underpass and was charged by the West Virginia Public Service Commission transportation division for failing to secure cargo, police said.

Police said a large "bucket"-type piece of equipment on the flatbed appeared to hit the bridge that takes the railroad over North Queen Street as it was being hauled north.

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City fire and police officers responded to the underpass at 9:39 a.m. and traffic was diverted for more than two hours, police said.

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