A McKean County man reportedly suffered only minor injuries on Monday afternoon, despite having been trapped in the cab of his burning gasoline tanker for nearly an hour.
Accident investigators tell KQW that 55 year-old Albert Prosser, from Smethport, was transported to Meadville Medical Center after he could finally be extricated from the wreckage of his cab. Firefighters had put up a wall of water and foam concentrate to keep the flames from spreading to the cab. The foam was then used to suppress the fire, even though responders were on the scene for about four hours.
State Police officials say Prosser was hauling a load of ethanol, and was headed west on Route 27 near the village of Diamond in Plum Township when he came upon stopped traffic. When Prosser braked, his rig went off the road and down a small embankment, and rolled onto its right side. The tanker ended up close enough to a residence that some damage was reported to the home’s siding.
The crash occurred shortly after 4:00 PM Monday near the Route 27 intersection with Kightlinger Road. None of the vehicles that had been stopped ahead of Prosser’s rig were involved in the accident.
It is estimated that the tanker was carrying about 3,000 gallons of fuel. Phone, cable and power outages in the area were attributed to the disintegration of utility lines caused by the intense heat from the fire.