Cumberland Times-News

January 17, 2013

Rig overturns, driver eludes injury

I-68 near Finzel weigh station closed for several hours

Jeffrey Alderton
Cumberland Times-News

— FINZEL — A driver escaped injury Thursday when he lost control of his tractor-trailer that overturned on eastbound Interstate 68 adjacent to the Finzel weigh station, according to Maryland State Police.

The driver, identified as James W. Blumer, 40, of St. Louis, reportedly was outside of the wrecked rig when troopers arrived in response to the accident that occurred just before 6 a.m. He apparently did not seek medical treatment.

The rig’s cargo of packaged retail goods remained confined to the overturned trailer. However, the Allegany County Hazardous Incident Response Team was notified to respond as a precaution, according to state police at McHenry.

As the roadway was closed, eastbound traffic was detoured through the weigh station entrance and exit ramps to bypass the accident, police said.

The incident that occurred east of Finzel Road was investigated by Cpl. Barry Miller with the assistance of the state police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.

Early Thursday afternoon, police said Blumer was cited for negligent driving.

Police said witnesses indicated that Blumer was driving a 2007 International tractor-trailer when the rig traveled off the roadway and onto the slow shoulder where it struck an embankment, guard-rail and a weigh station sign.

The rig then traveled back across the eastbound lanes where it struck and destroyed large sections of guardrail as the truck jackknifed and overturned.

The roadway was closed for several hours before being reopened by early afternoon.

No information was available concerning the cause and any factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Eastern Garrett, Shaft and Frostburg volunteer fire departments responded to the scene and cleared shortly after 8 a.m.

Frostburg Area Ambulance Service and LaVale Rescue Squad also responded upon alert by the Allegany County 911 center.

State Highway Administration and South Side Salvage also responded.

Contact Jeffrey Alderton at jlalderton@times-news.com.