Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
PORT DEPOSIT, Md. (WJZ)– Hundreds of people are allowed back into their homes after a tanker carrying 9,000 gallons of propane crashes into their condo complex. And now, we have new video of the out-of-control truck.
Rochelle Ritchie talks to neighbors who are counting their blessings.
The residents say they are happy to be home and lucky to be alive.
WJZ obtained the exclusive video which shows the propane tanker just seconds before it crashed into Tomes Landing Condominiums.
The video shows the truck moving at full speed through downtown Port Deposit, over the railroad tracks and ultimately landing with wheels up into the condos.
“I was in the kitchen. I heard this big rumbling noise and then a big bang,” resident Ray Sammi said.
Sammi was home sick and says the impact of the crash shook the building.
“So I ran to the bay window and I looked out to the left and there was a truck, wheels upside down,” Sammi said.
A scary situation turned terrifying. The truck was hauling 9,000 gallons of propane.
“It could have been catastrophic,” Rod Heinze, the town administrator, said.
Heinze said residents were evacuated in fear of an explosion.
It is believed the driver was going down the hill when his brakes gave out. He swerved and hit the building, a move that kept him from going straight into the river. The alert driver remained pinned under the truck.
“I asked him if he could unwedge himself and get out and he said, ‘No,’” Heinze explained.
Crews worked for hours to free him.
Other Tomes Landing residents like Jean Jordan weren’t home at the time. She returned last night to find her home spared of any damage. But she says knowing her pet bird and her close friends were that close to death is unnerving.
“We wouldn’t be here today,” she said.
Sammi says that as fast as the truck was moving, he’s surprised to see it didn’t turn explosive.
“I would have been flying. I was right above it here,” he said.
The crash damaged two condos which are now under repair. We’re told the driver was from Ohio.
The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.