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A logging truck driver was injured after he bailed from his vehicle during a crash in the Oak Hill community Thursday morning, Sept. 19.
S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Billy Elder said the one-vehicle crash happened about 9:25 a.m. at the T-intersection of Old Camden Monroe Highway and Taxahaw Road. The scene is about 15 miles east of Lancaster, and within a few miles of Pageland Highway (S.C. 9).
The driver, Barron Gaston, 29, of Ridgeway, was driving a 2001 Freightliner truck with a fully loaded logging trailer south along Old Camden Monroe Highway at the time of the accident, Elder said.
“When he crossed the T-intersection at Taxahaw Road, he traveled off the roadway, crashing,” Elder said. “The driver escaped the vehicle before the crash.”
Minutes after the crash, the driver was walking at the scene, according to police radio traffic.
Gaston was later taken by Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services to Springs Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries, though Elder said those injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
The logging truck overturned during the crash and dumped logs along the road.
“They are still cleaning it up, there are logs all in the road,” Elder said Thursday afternoon. “They’ll be out there for awhile.”
Lancaster County Fire Marshal Stephen Blackwelder said the accident ruptured one of the logging truck’s saddle bag fuel tanks, and ripped a gash in the other, causing diesel fuel to leak onto the road and ignite.
“Our initial call was for an overturned truck, but while firefighters were en route they noticed heavy black smoke in the area,” Blackwelder said.
About 11 members of Tradesville Volunteer Fire Department and Lancaster Fire Service responded to the scene, which included five of the county’s 10 new paid firefighters.
“Two of them were actually stationed at the Tradesville department, by luck of the draw,” he said.
Blackwelder was one of the firefighters who helped tackle the blaze, which they managed to quell in about 30 minutes.
“After the wreck, the cab burned, but the fire didn’t burn the logs,” Blackwelder said. “The gentleman was not burned. It could’ve been a lot worse.”
He said firefighters used approximately 1,500 gallons of water and one gallon of foam to suppress the fire.
“When we left, the Highway Patrol was still there helping to get the truck moved,” Blackwelder said. “Though the fuel spilled, most of it was burned away, so there wasn’t much to clean up.”
There were no injuries to anyone at the scene or to any of the emergency responders, he said.
Elder said the crash is still under investigation by the Highway Patrol and the cause was not immediately known.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416