Overturned cement truck forces re-route in Clinton

Emergency workers block Humphrey Road because a cement truck rolled over into a ditch and fractured a power pole the morning of June 26.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Emergency workers block Humphrey Road because a cement truck rolled over into a ditch and fractured a power pole the morning of June 26.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

A 40,000-pound cement truck rolled off a Clinton driveway and onto its back Wednesday morning.

The incident forced the closure of a stretch of Humphrey Road just south of Tiffany Drive and the Cascade View neighborhood and shut power off to homes in the area.

No one was injured, including the driver, who narrowly escaped the crash. The truck’s engine was off and its reverse indicator steadily beeped, its wheels belly up.

“The vehicle was unoccupied when it rolled over, thankfully,” said Deputy Chief Mike Cotton with South Whidbey Fire/EMS.

First responders with South Whidbey Fire/EMS and Island County Sheriff’s Office said the driver, who had a valid Washington commercial driver’s license, was backing into the driveway to turn around. He stepped out of the cabin to check on the truck’s position, when the passenger side wheels gave way to the soft earth next to the hard gravel driveway. The weight of the truck’s slide and flip left a massive divot in the ground and fractured a power pole at about 9:40 a.m. About a square foot of cement had spilled out of the drum and onto the bramble and ground.

The full load of cement in the loader made for a challenging tow. Simmons Towing owner Gary Peterson, whose shop is just north on Humphrey Road and Highway 525, inspected the scene and quickly determined his rigs could not retrieve the more than 40,000-pound truck. Without the loader to rotate, keeping the cement loose, it was hardening wherever it lay.

Washington State Patrol was in charge of the scene and any possible investigation. At the time, however, no citation was issued for the rollover, and the driver was not suspected of operating the vehicle while intoxicated.

Puget Sound Energy had to cut power in the area so workers could replace the pole, once the truck was rolled over and towed away. It was estimated that the power would be out for about eight hours, during which access through that section of Humphrey Road would be limited.

Workers suggested drivers use Holst Road to access the other side of Humphrey Road. The residents of the homes beyond the driveway where the rollover occurred were stranded on either side of the wreck.



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