VENANGO COUNTY —
A Cochranton firefighter said he made the decision to cut and pull an unidentified male driver from a tanker truck that rolled through a utility pole on Route 27 Monday afternoon, caught fire and burned for several hours, according to fire officials.
Battalion Chief Ryan Sekerski received conflicting reports as to whether the driver was still trapped in the vehicle that he said swerved to miss a stopped vehicle at approximately 4 p.m. near Diamond in Plum Township, about four miles from Titusville.
After using an electric saw to cut an escape route for the driver, Sekerski believes it was Randolph Fire Chief Kevin Hill who helped lift the driver out.
“I had to lean in through the windshield,” Sekerski said. “I brought him out through the passenger side window.”
The driver suffered minor to moderate injuries, according to Sekerski.
Titusville Fire Chief Harry Caldwell reported the driver was taken to Meadville Medical Center for treatment. A nursing supervisor didn’t release the driver’s identity but reported him in stable condition as of 8:35 p.m. Monday.
Emergency responders remained on scene for at least four hours, according to Caldwell, who estimated Chapmanville Volunteer Fire Department, the first responder, would remain on the scene well into the night.
“It might be dark before the road opens,” Caldwell said Monday evening. “They might not even open it until (this) morning.”
Chapmanville Fire Chief Sam Firster decided to let the fire burn out under emergency crew supervision, Sekerski said.
Firster was unavailable for comment.
The downed utility pole, which fell onto the tanker, was consumed in the fire, Sekerski added.
Chapmanville firefighters were assisted by Hydetown, Townville, Centerville, Randolph Township, Titusville, Cochranton, Vernon Central and Vernon Township fire departments and Crawford County Hazardous Materials Team.
CNHI News Service