Truck Collision on Rte 22  November 9th, 2004

Fire and EMS personnel from Western Lehigh County, Pennsylvania had their hands full on November 9, 2004.

At approximately 8:30 in the morning a tanker carrying jet fuel overturned on the exit ramp of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Lehigh Valley interchange.

The resulting hazmat spill and potential for an explosion prompted the evacuation of the Luther Crest retirement community in South Whitehall Township as well as several surrounding medical and business office buildings.

While Lower Macungie Township firefighters and the Lehigh County Hazmat team worked to control the spill, Cetronia, Greenawalds and Woodlawn fire departments provided support to Cetronia Ambulance corps personnel to facilitate an anticipated evacuation of the over 500 residents of Luther Crest.

At approximately 0930 hours, a rear end collision on Route 22 Westbound where the turnpike crosses over Route 22. The tractor trailer and a bulk container rig collision resulted in most fire/rescue units from South Whitehall leaving the Luther Crest site and responding to the rescue.

Though heavily entrapped, the driver of the bulk carrier rig did not appear to have life threatening injuries according to firefighters on the scene.

Tri-Clover Fire Department played a large role in supporting the hazmat cleanup needed at the scene.

Fire Departments responding to the Route 22 Truck MVA were: Cetronia, Greenawalds, Woodlawn all from South Whitehall Township, Fogelsville and Trexlertown, Upper Macungie Township, Tri-Clover Fire Dept., North Whitehall Township and Allentown City Fire Deptartment. The Cetronia Ambulance Corps provided EMS.  


A view looking to the East on Route 22.

Firefighters Cary Vaupel, Cetronia FD and Will Schlier, Woodlawn FD, wear hazmat suits while emptying diesel fuel from one of the involved trucks.

An employee of Atlas Towing inspects the wreckage prior to tow the rigs from the scene.


Incident Commander, Rusty Held, Chief, Woodlawn FD discusses tactics with an officer from Fogelsville FD.

Looking West at the scene.

Firefighter Cary Vaupel, Cetronia, Lt. Will Schlier, Woodlawn, Asst. Chief Rich Tice, Chief Rusty Held, both with Woodlawn, Chief Dennis Smith, Greenawalds

Photos & Article by Lou Wheeland


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