May 26, 2018
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Lobster truck rolls over, catches fire

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

STONINGTON, Maine — Crews from the Department of Environmental Protection were on Route 15 on Tuesday completing a cleanup of diesel fuel that spilled from an overturned truck the previous afternoon.

Deputy Ben Astbury of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department said the accident occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Monday as Franz Garami, 60, of Rockland was headed north on Route 15. Garami rounded a sharp corner on a hill near the Deer Isle line and his 2009 International refrigerated box truck drifted onto the shoulder.

Garami apparently overcorrected and the truck rolled onto its side. It appears that speed was a factor in the accident, Astbury said.

While Garami was still in the truck, it caught on fire. A good Samaritan stopped and extricated Garami from the truck. He suffered minor cuts and abrasions but was not seriously injured. The vehicle was engulfed in flamed when fire crews arrived.

The fire totaled the vehicle, which was worth an estimated $45,000.

An estimated 35 to 75 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the vehicle and ran across the road toward the bridge between Deer Isle and Stonington.

“The Fire Department did a good job of getting the booms down,” Astbury said. “They limited a lot of the exposure.”

It did not appear that much if any fuel got into the water but crews put booms in the water as a precaution.

Route 15 was closed for about 4½ hours while a DEP crew cleaned the area, concentrating on the road. The crew returned on Tuesday to complete the cleanup on the sides of the road.

Garami was hauling a load of about 220 crates of lobster when the accident occurred. Officials from the state Department of Agriculture quarantined the entire cargo Monday night, but by Tuesday afternoon had cleared most of the lobster for sale.

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