CORNVILLE — East Ridge Road in Cornville remained closed to all traffic at 4 p.m. Monday after the driver of a Dead River Oil Co. truck loaded with home heating oil was hospitalized earlier in the day when he apparently lost control of his truck and rolled it onto its roof.

A dispatcher at the Somerset County Communications Center in Skowhegan said the road had been expected to reopen at about 5 p.m.

The accident — about half way between Athens village and the Skowhegan town line — resulted in about 1,000 gallons of No. 2 heating oil being spilled onto the ground near a small stream, said Jon Woodard, an oil and hazardous materials specialist from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Firefighters from Skowhegan and Cornville used fabric booms and absorbent pads to clean up the spilled fuel and to protect the stream. Firefighters from Athens were called to assist in traffic control.

“We’re responding to first off-load whatever product is left on the truck so they can move it out of here, and then we’ll facilitate a cleanup of the affected area,” Woodard said at the scene. “It’s going to be difficult because of the trees and the roots.”

East Ridge Road was closed to all traffic during the cleanup, which began just after 7:30 a.m. Monday. A 3,500-gallon vacuum truck and spill trailer from ACV Enviro was sent to the scene to pump the fuel from the Dead River truck before crews could bring the oil truck upright again.


The name of the driver and his condition were not immediately available. Firefighters at the scene said he was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan. They said he was conscious and alert and speaking to emergency medical personnel.

“He was in a lot of pain from what I could see,” Skowhegan and Cornville firefighter Matt Quinn said. “But I didn’t see anything major.”

Quinn and Cornville Fire Chief Kenneth Hogate said it appeared that the driver went too far to the right going north on East Ridge Road, caught the wheels in the soft shoulder and attempted to correct when he lost control of the Freightliner eight-wheeler.

The oil truck has a capacity of 2,600 gallons and had made only one stop early Monday. The Skowhegan Fire Department’s hazmat trailer was sent to the scene with the Technical Response Team.

At the scene Monday there were scrape marks on the paved road and tire skid marks. The driver’s side windshield was broken. Fuel oil, a mixture of kerosene for outdoor oil tanks, could be seen pooling up amid the trees near the roadside. Quinn said the oil tanker appeared to have a 2- or 3-inch open puncture from which the fuel was leaking.

A crew from ACV Enviro was to cut a hole in the truck tank and pump the remaining fuel into their 3,600-gallon tanker.


Lisa J. Morrissette, director of marketing for the Dead River Co., said the driver’s condition was being assessed at the hospital and had no other information to offer.

A police report on the accident was not immediately available Monday.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367


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