CARMEL, Maine — A propane truck collided Tuesday morning with an SUV on Route 69 in Carmel, causing the fuel truck to overturn in the roadway and prompting brief concerns of a gas explosion.
No explosion occurred, but the accident caused a considerable mess that forced public safety and Department of Environmental Protection officials to close a lengthy section of the route well into Tuesday afternoon.
Carmel Fire Chief Mike Azevedo said the accident happened just after 9 a.m. when an SUV pulled out of a driveway to go east on Route 69 about a mile and half from the entrance to Interstate 95. The vehicle took a wide turn and struck a Dead River Co. truck hauling propane that was headed west, the chief said.
The propane truck driver tried to avoid a collision, but ended up striking the front of the SUV. The fuel truck then rolled over multiple times and came to rest on its side in the middle of the road, Azevedo said.
Daniel Boone, 54, of Bangor was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center for treatment, but he suffered only minor injuries, mostly “road rash,” according to Maine State Police Trooper Brenda Coolen.
The occupants of the SUV, Theresa Byers, 38, of Hermon, and her two sons, aged 14 and 7, also suffered minor injuries, but were treated at the scene, Coolen said.
“This was one of those cases where we were glad everyone was wearing a seat belt,” Coolen said.
Once rescue personnel determined there were no serious injuries, attention turned to the propane truck, which Azevedo said was about 80 percent full. Initial reports indicated that fuel was leaking, which if ignited, could have caused a serious explosion, the fire chief said.
Luckily, only a small amount of propane spilled from the truck. An empty Dead River Co. truck was brought in to transfer the propane from the disabled truck.
“We were able to close off [the leak] quickly,” Coolen said. “But it took a long time to off-load all the fuel because they could only pump it a little at a time.”