No one was injured when a tractor-trailer carrying a heavy load early Wednesday morning crashed into the side of a former beauty supply store in Lochearn, according to Baltimore County police.
A 911 call came in at 5:17 a.m. from an unidentified witness who saw the truck's cab inside the building in the Woodmoor Shopping Center, said police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach. The crash site, at 7015 Liberty Road, had been the location of a former Beautyland store. While the store is no longer in business, the location still contains some inventory.
The investigating officer said that the driver of the truck, which was carrying a shipping container from Evergreen Shipping, had stopped to take a nap and did not properly set the brakes, which allowed the truck to coast into the brick building.
However, Ashley Myers, owner of Baltimore-based Triple Dat Logistics, the trucking company involved, said her driver was not in the truck at the time of the incident.
Myers said all her trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs), and those showed that the driver had arrived in the parking lot and left the truck briefly to retrieve his phone from a residence up the street. Myers said the driver was not in the truck, which he had left unlocked, when it crashed into the wall.
"It was just a freak accident," Myers said. Peach said the police investigation was complete and it was unlikely that criminal charges would be filed.
Albert Kim, a managing partner at Woodmoor, said the property's insurance adjuster had yet to evaluate for damage.
"It was fortunate that no one was injured," Kim said. "We'll fix it and then move on."
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A crew from The Auto Barn Inc., a Baltimore-based towing company, arrived to remove the truck around 11:20 a.m. Steve Cline, general manager and 15-year veteran of the towing company, said that he's seen this kind of incident before, but that it's unusual.
Auto Barn owner Tom Showalter worked with two employees to hook up chains to the Triple Dat Logistics truck and remove it from the building.
Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Fire Department, confirmed that a crew from the Maryland Department of the Environment removed about 100 gallons of diesel fuel from the truck shortly after the crash.
The crew of three worked for about an hour to steadily remove the truck from where it had crashed into the building without causing further damage. A few bricks, knocked loose, fell as the truck was removed but the wall remained standing.
Chalet Prophete, a driver with Triple Dat, was at the scene of the incident because he was waiting to take the shipping container attached to the truck about an hour and a half north to Pennsylvania.
He said the truck was probably "a total loss." But, even though Prophete likely would have to retrieve the shipping container from an offsite location once it was towed, he remained confident that he could complete his scheduled work.
"I'll make it today," he said.