.

UPDATE: Macungie Man Killed When Car, Tanker Collide on Buckeye Road Causing Fuel Spill; Witnesses Sought

State police seek witnesses to a fatal crash on Buckeye Road in Upper Milford that killed a Macungie man and resulted in a huge spill of diesel fuel.

A car collided with a diesel fuel truck at 9:52 p.m. Sunday in Upper Milford Township, killing a Macungie man and spilling thousands of gallons of diesel fuel, according to state police and emergency scanner transmissions.

The crash killed James F. Heller, 61, of Macungie, according to the Lehigh County Coroner's office.  

Heller was driving a Chevrolet Cavalier west on Buckeye Road and a tractor trailer driven by Matthew Phillip Wise, 26, of Fort Bragg, N.C., was attempting to turn east on Buckeye Road from Tank Farm Road, state police at Fogelsville said. The car reportedly hit the tractor trailer. 

Buckeye Road was closed between Tank Farm Road and Chestnut Street and might remain closed most of today (Monday) for the fuel spill cleanup, according to a Morning Call story

Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to call state police at 610-395-1438. 

Emergency scanner reports Sunday night said the car reportedly was wedged under the tanker on Buckeye Road near Tank Farm Road at the Buckeye Pipeline tank complex near 4993 Buckeye Road.

At 2:05 a.m., a transmission from Vera Cruz Fire Chief Joseph Sherman said the extrication of a patient was complete. The Lehigh County Coroner's Office already had been called to the scene.

Earlier, a Macungie ambulance was summoned to transport Wise to a nearby hospital to be checked out for injuries.

Initially, responding fire units from Vera Cruz and Emmaus fire and ambulance found gushing diesel fuel, reportedly at 100 gallons per minute, when they arrived. Although the tanker reportedly was full at 7,600 gallons, it was later reported that perhaps only one 2,500-gallon section of the tank was ruptured and spewing fuel.

Additional fire units were called to block roads. A sand truck and decontamination unit were called to the scene, according to transmissions.

The state Department of Environmental Protection was called to the scene as potential migration of diesel fuel from the site to a nearby stream became a concern. The Hazardous Materials Unit from Lehigh County also was called to the scene.

Sherman, as command officer, notified dispatchers that nearby roads would be closed for several hours. The East Penn School District was notified that bus routes would have to be notified as a result.

State police said Heller was not wearing a seat belt but his airbag deployed. The tractor trailer driver was wearing his seat belt. 

slyfox November 12, 2012 at 05:11 PM
My sincere condolences to the family who suffered such a tragic loss. Peace.
jncdd23 November 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Those trucks pull out from Tank Farm road and do not care how close vehicles are when they pull out. I have had several instances where I had to stop abruptly because a truck pulled out in front of me. I hope they do something now to correct this problem before any more lives are lost!
Howard R.Bachman,Jr. November 13, 2012 at 02:36 PM
WELL--IT'S NOT THE TRUCKERS CAUSING THE PROBLEM-FIRST -THE TRUCK DRIVERS CAN'T SEE DOWN THE ROAD BECAUSE THERE IS A DIPIN THE ROAD THAT HIDES THE CARS AND THEY ARE MOVING AT A FAST SPEED-AND A LONG ROW OF BUSHES BLOCK THE VIEW DOWN THE ROAD--SO--DON'T BLAME THE TRUCK DRIVER !!-THERE SHOULD BE A BETTER VIEW AND A TRAFFIC LIGHT TO CONTROL THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC-PUT YOUSLF IN THEIR PLACE AND SEE HOW HARD IT IS TO PULL OUT OF THAT INTERSRCTION WITH A LOADED TRAILER-YOU WOULD CHARGE YOUR TUNE !!
slyfox November 13, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Hello Howard - well, I believe that the drivers of those rigs sit high up and have a clear view for a long way, bird’s eye if you will. Since this awful accident occurred during the night, both vehicles probably had their lights on which is another indicator of traffic. A traffic light would not be feasible at Tank Farm Road. Trailer drivers most certainly are aware of the hazards, should be driving accordingly and until all the facts are known none of us should jump to conclusions. Peace.
Stevie B. November 13, 2012 at 05:49 PM
FACT IS; BUCKEYE ROAD AND TANK FARM ROAD NEEDS A SIGNAL/LIGHT to ALLOW SAFE ENTRY on to BUCKEYE from Tank Farm and SAFE EXIT from BUCKEYE to Tank Farm -- It's that SIMPLE PEOPLE-- GET a SIGNAL THERE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET A PATITION STARTED NOW !!!!! CALL PENN DOT NOW !!!! CALL THE STATE REPS NOW !!!! DO SOMETHING TO FIX THIS NOW !!!! BEFORE SOMEONE YOU KNOW OR CARE ABOUT IS DEAD NEXT !!!!! NO TIME TO WASTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STEVE .
Stevie B. November 13, 2012 at 05:52 PM
AMEN, HOWARD -- the "4-wheelers" need to take responsability for their own actions -- As an OTR Driver myself, and a former resident of Buckeye Road / Tank Farm Road intersection, I have seen, FOOL-HEARTED ITDIOTS in the 4-wheelers [CARS, to the lay-persons out there], take Buckeye Road as an alternative to the F*CKIN' AUTOBAUN !!! I have witnessed countless acts of dope-headedness by 4-wheelers -- FACT IS; BUCKEYE ROAD AND TANK FARM ROAD NEEDS A SIGNAL/LIGHT to ALLOW SAFE ENTRY on to BUCKEYE from Tank Farm and SAFE EXIT from BUCKEYE to Tank Farm -- It's that SIMPLE PEOPLE-- GET a SIGNAL THERE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET A PATITION STARTED NOW !!!!! CALL PENN DOT NOW !!!! CALL THE STATE REPS NOW !!!! DO SOMETHING TO FIX THIS NOW !!!! BEFORE SOMEONE YOU KNOW OR CARE ABOUT IS DEAD NEXT !!!!! NO TIME TO WASTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STEVE .
Stevie B. November 13, 2012 at 06:28 PM
1:24 pm on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 AMEN, HOWARD -- the "4-wheelers" need to take responsability for their own actions -- As an OTR Driver myself, and a former resident of Buckeye Road / Tank Farm Road intersection, I have seen, FOOL-HEARTED ITDIOTS in the 4-wheelers [CARS, to the lay-persons out there], take Buckeye Road as an alternative to the F*CKIN' AUTOBAUN !!! I have witnessed countless acts of dope-headedness by 4-wheelers -- FACT IS; BUCKEYE ROAD AND TANK FARM ROAD NEEDS A SIGNAL/LIGHT to ALLOW SAFE ENTRY on to BUCKEYE from Tank Farm and SAFE EXIT from BUCKEYE to Tank Farm -- It's that SIMPLE PEOPLE-- GET a SIGNAL THERE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET A PATITION STARTED NOW !!!!! CALL PENN DOT NOW !!!! CALL THE STATE REPS NOW !!!! DO SOMETHING TO FIX THIS NOW !!!! BEFORE SOMEONE YOU KNOW OR CARE ABOUT IS DEAD NEXT !!!!! NO TIME TO WASTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STEVE .
Howard R.Bachman,Jr. November 13, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Well--slyfox-try sitting in one of those trucks-you don't get a clear view of the road- I've been driving for 44 yrs. and you don't always have and clear view with big bushes blocking your view-Don't make a comment about something you don't know about- check the facts first-you talk like a uneducated four wheeler-it's always the truckers fault !!--well--the driver of the car was drinking at a bar that night and didn't have his lights on--NOW !!!--WHO'S AT FAULT-the trucker never seen him comming- CHECK YOUR FACTS NEXT TIME BEFORE YOU BLAME A TRUCK DRIVER-YOU DON'T NOW WHAT WE GO THOUGH ON THE ROAD WITH YOU UN EDUCATED DRIVERS OT THERE-AND YES A TRAFFIC LIGHT WOULD REGULATE TRAFFIC ALOT BETTER.
Stevie B. November 13, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Hello Upper Milford Township ???? PennDot ??? Get the hint, already !!!! PUT A LIGHT AT BUCKEYE ROAD AND TANK FARM ROAD -- Politics aside; SAVE LIVES !!!!!! Dear GOD !!!!
Stevie B. November 13, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Or Lower Macungie Township -- Whoever is in "charge" of the area --
Stevie B. November 13, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Someone, PLEASE help US SAVE LIVES !!!!!!!!!!!!
jrogers November 16, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Just as stated to auto drivers regarding motorcycles, truck drivers should "look twice, save lives" as well. Its all about fixing the blame, not the problem.
Stevie B. November 17, 2012 at 04:02 AM
FYI, PEOPLE -- Please, do explain how the Truck Driver was to notice a DARK COLORED SUB-COMPACT VEHICLE in the DEAD OF NIGHT, with NO LIGHTS ON ??? Are you going to supply the Trucking Industry Drivers with NIGHT-VISION GOGGLES ??? Ahhh, There's your answer, Night Vision Goggles for all Truck Drivers to see IDIOTS that drive DRUNK and/or DO NOT HAVE ANY LIGHTS ON in the DEAD OF NIGHT !!! Duh -- Have a pleasant evening as you ponder that one --
Chandler December 02, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Did the authorities ever say what the car driver's ETOH was? (if any)

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something