Rescue crews had to extricate the male driver of a tractor trailer after he crashed his rig through a guardrail, down a 40-foot embankment and into trees along the southbound lane of Claremont Avenuce (SR309) just south of Skipper Dippers in Still Creek, Rush Township.
Due to the slippery surfaces, firefighters utilized a rescue litter and rope to lift the driver, 68-year old Ronald Aktinson of Allentown, up the snow-covered embankment to an awaiting ambulance.
Aktinson was then flown via PennSTAR, which landed in the parking lot of the Hometown WalMart, to St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill for unknown injuries.
The crash resulted in the northbound lane of SR309 to be closed for four hours during the initial rescue and recovery setup, followed by the closing of both lanes an additional four hours.
The signage on the white truck and trailer stated Mack Truck Leasing Systems of the Lehigh Valley. Firefighters added that the odometer reading showed only about 7,000 miles traveled.
Rush Township Police, township road crews and fire police volunteers from Hometown, Tamaqua, Quakake and McAdoo were staged at many major intersections along SR309, SR54, Fairview Street, Marian Avenue, Mahanoy Avenue and Lincoln Drive. Traffic along these road was backed up for miles while a large response of workers and trucks from Hope's Towing worked hard to free and eventually remove the trailer and truck.
Responding in addition to police from Rush and Kline Township, were members of the Tamaqua Rescue Squad and firefighters from Hometown, Tamaqua, Quakake, McAdoo and others.
Firefighters on scene stated that Aktinson was lucky he didn't have a full load in the trailer, or the momentum of the trailer could have crushed the truck cab into the trees.