Tanker driver rolled truck in New Jersey in April
A Shamokin man behind the wheel of a milk tanker truck that fell 40 feet off a bridge abutment near Excelsior Monday was also the driver of a milk tanker truck that rolled over in New Jersey April 5.
John Firestine, 49, who remained in fair condition Wednesday at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, was identified by New Jersey State Police as the driver of the tanker that rolled over in White Township.
According to The Warren Reporter, the tanker was carrying milk when it rolled onto its side. Damage to the tanker caused milk to drain from the tank onto the shoulder of the highway and into a stream. Firestine was flown to Morriston Memorial with chest pains and minor abrasions.
The tanker's shipment originated in Pleasant Gap, Pa., where RW Bird Trucking Inc., the company that owns the tanker from Monday's accident, is located. A representative from RW Bird Trucking did not return a phone call Wednesday.
In a press release issued Monday, Coal Township Patrolman Chris Lapotsky said Firestine was traveling north approximately one mile west of Excelsior when the truck veered off the road for an unknown reason. It plowed through guide rails on the east side of the highway and then through a sloping weeded area before teetering over the cement bridge abutment and falling.
The truck and tanker fell onto the railroad tracks, which are owned by North Shore Railroad. The front of the cab was heavily damaged.
The tanker was empty at the time.
Lapotsky had said Monday he had not had a chance to talk to Firestine at the scene of the crash prior to his transport to the hospital. The officer was unavailable Wednesday for additional information about what may have caused the crash.
He said he was unable to confirm reports at the scene that Firestine had gotten out of the truck before it fell.