From Sheriff Harder:
Shortly before 1:00am this morning, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to one vehicle accident which was reported to have occurred on Interstate 88 eastbound at Exit 2 in the Town of Fenton, Broome County, New York.
The accident was reported to involve a tractor trailer style vehicle bearing a hazardous material placard.
The operator of the tractor was ejected from the vehicle and located a short distance from the tractor, deceased.
First responders extricated the driver from the scene and set up a perimeter a safe distance away from the accident scene.
Members of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police and the Department of Transportation set up traffic control points to limit vehicular traffic in and around the accident scene.
Members of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office and local fire department personnel began evacuating all homes located within a quarter mile radius of the accident scene.
Those areas included two trailer parks; one located on E. Niles Road and one located on Towpath Road in addition to residential houses located on Niles Road, Dale Court, Ivan Lane, Chenango Street, Hartley Road and Ritchie Road.
The driver was identified as Jeffrey Lind, 52 years of age of Hallstead, Pennsylvania.
He was operating a tractor trailer owned by Xpress Natural Gas which is located in Montrose, P.A.
The preliminary investigation and witnesses accounts indicate that Mr. Lind swerved to avoid striking a deer in the roadway.
As a result, he lost control of the tractor trailer, struck the concrete “jersey” barrier dividing the eastbound and westbound lanes, overturned then slid across the eastbound lanes coming to rest against the concrete barrier on the right-hand side of the eastbound lanes.
The trailer contained four tanks each filled with compressed methane gas. Due to the accident, one tank within the trailer was damaged and, as a result, an unknown amount of compressed gas vented into the atmosphere.
There is no indication that there were any defects with the tractor trailer, however, it is still under investigation at this time.
Currently, crews are on the scene off-loading the remaining gas onto other trucks.
The quarter mile perimeter evacuation is still in effect and surrounding roadways are still closed.
Sheriff Harder anticipates that the accident scene should be cleaned up and the area deemed safe later this afternoon.
The Broome County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the:
New York State Police
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Port Dickinson Police Department
Hillcrest Fire Department
Port Dickinson Fire Department
Chenango Bridge Fire Department
Five Mile Point Fire Department
Chenango Forks Fire Department
Town of Binghamton Fire Department
Prospect Terrace Fire Department
Port Crane Fire Department
NYS Department of Transportation
NYS Office of Emergency Management
NYS Office of Fire prevention and control
Broome County Office of Emergency Services
Broome County Executive’s Office
Broome County Hazardous materials squad
The American Red Cross
Broome Ambulance Squad
Chenango Ambulance Squad
Superior Ambulance Squad
Broome County Division of Security
Broome County Parks
Radio amateur civil emergency service Various agencies at the State and Local level who support the Emergency Operations Center