Tractor-trailer hits truck driver escapes injury Owner of pickup had just left


The driver of a tractor-trailer loaded with 51,000 pounds of dry cement escaped serious injury when his rig crashed into a parked pickup truck and pushed it down an embankment into a ravine and up the other side onto the Western Maryland College golf course about 11:40 a.m. Monday.

The driver, Joseph Ward, 28, of Baltimore, received only minor bruises and did not require hospital treatment.

Mr. Ward told police he was northbound on Route 31 and momentarily took his eyes off the road. He said he has been driving heavy trucks for 10 years and this is his first accident.

The owner of the pickup truck, Marlo Smith, 64, of Union Bridge, said he was out of his truck looking for golf balls, having parked the vehicle on the highway shoulder moments before the crash.

When the tractor struck the pick up, it pushed the smaller truck about 170 feet down the embankment along Route 31 and up a smaller embankment by the fifth hole of the golf course. The trailer overturned on its right side.

The tractor frame was bent about five feet to the right and the rear dual wheels of the tractor were bent 90 degrees, sticking up into the air. The front section of the tanker-type trailer was collapsed.

Emergency crews of the Maryland Department of the Environment Spill Response Team pumped the diesel fuel from both tanks of the tractor to prevent spillage.

Route 31 between Route 140 and West Main Street was closed for more than four hours, and officials of the Umberly Trucking Co. said they would start to unload the 51,000 pounds of dry cement by 6:30 p.m.

Officials said they would remove the tractor and trailer about 10 a.m. today, after the rush hour.

About two hours after the crash, Mr. Ward was walking near the overturned trailer and found three golf balls, which he carried up to the road to give to Mr. Smith, who had gone to get another truck to pick up the items spewed on the ground from the rear of his wrecked pickup truck.

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