Garbage truck rolls, catches fire on I-395

Firefighters from around the Norwich area work the scene of a garbage truck rollover accident with resulting fire at Exit 80 on the southbound side of Interstate 395 in Norwich Friday, June 22, 2012. Traffic was snarled in the area as emergency crews brought the accident under control.

Norwich — A garbage truck entering Interstate 395 south at Exit 80 hit a roadside sign, rolled onto its side and caught fire, closing the highway for a time and prompting a large response by police and fire personnel.

The driver, Russell L. Grimes, and his passenger, David L. Latham, both sustained minor injuries from the 2:15 p.m. crash and were taken to The William W. Backus Hospital for evaluation, state police said. No other vehicles were involved.

Police said the Sterling Superior garbage truck hit a sign on the left side of the highway entrance and swerved back into the roadway before careening off the left side of the highway a second time. As it went off the shoulder, the truck went down an embankment and rolled onto its right side.

Police said both men were able to get out of the truck unassisted before it caught on fire. The embankment surrounding the truck was burned by the blaze.

The entrance to the highway on Route 82 remained closed as of 5 p.m. as fire personnel from East Great Plain, Mohegan, Montville and Norwich continued to clean up the site. The scene was cleared around 6:40 p.m. The Norwich hazardous materials team also responded, as did the state Department of Transportation.

Hazardous materials crews from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were called to the scene by local fire officials as a precaution, DEEP spokesman Dwayne Gardner said. There was no fuel spill, but DEEP crews stayed on scene until the truck was removed, he said.


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