03/26/04 — Firetruck crashes

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Firetruck crashes

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 26, 2004 2:06 PM

A Pikeville-Pleasant Grove firefighter racing to a fire in another district lost control of the truck Thursday and overturned, the Highway Patrol said.

The driver, Jonathan Clay Gardner, 23, of Vail Road, Pikeville, was rushed by ambulance to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for exposure to chemicals and then released.

Overturned truck

News-Argus/Dennis Hill

Rescue personnel work to free a Pikeville-Pleasant Grove volunteer firefighter after the truck he was driving overturned Thursday on Pikeville-Princeton Road. The driver, Clay Gardner, was released after emergency-room treatment. The investigating state trooper, J.F. Davis, second from right, talks to a firefighter.

Gardner, driving a tanker truck, was responding to a fire on Nor-Am Road in the Nahunta fire district, officials said.

Trooper J.F. Davis said Gardner rounded a curve on Pikeville-Princeton Road at about 11:15 a.m. at Vail Road, and the tanker, which was going east, ran off the right side.

Gardner lost control of the truck, and it came back on the road, overturning several times and landing on its top, the trooper said.

Nahunta volunteers used special tools to cut Gardner, the son of Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Gardner, from the wreckage. Kenneth Gardner is the former chief of the Pikeville-Pleasant Grove Fire Department.

The wreck blocked the two-lane road for about two hours.

The 1983 tanker truck, valued at about $20,000, was demolished.

Davis said charges are pending until he completes his investigation and issues a final report.