2nd UPDATE: Three firefighters injured in crash involving two fire engines

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 3:15pm

ST. GEORGE — As of Friday morning, Oct. 18, the two drivers who were transported to a hospital with minor injuries have been released, according to St. George Fire Chief Michael Smith. 

The drivers were firefighters involved with shuttling water to a structure fire just off of Clark Island Road when two tanker trucks swerved to avoid collision and ended up off of the road. 



ST. GEORGE — One firefighter has been flown to a trauma center, and two others were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries, Thursday afternoon, Oct. 17, following a motor vehicle accident on the Clark Island Road. 

The firefighter who was seriously injured was Russell Hallock, 56, of Owls Head. Hallock was a passenger in an Owls Head tanker truck that was shuttling water toward a structure fire on nearby Tyler Lane. That truck was driven by Donald Pierce, 64, of Owls Head.

As the Owls Head truck drove toward the fire scene, a St. George tanker truck, driven by Keith Miller, 65, of St. George, was traveling from the opposite direction. Another vehicle was stopped in the northbound lane to let them pass, yet no shoulder space was available, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. 

The fire trucks met each other in the area of the Mill Creek Road intersection, which is on a bend in the road.

Though the investigation is still pending with key details, the KCSO and crash reconstructionists determined that both trucks attempted to avoid a collision. However, “the St. George truck was unable to maintain control, due to brake lock,” said KCSO, “and the rear driver corner of the St. George truck struck the front driver corner of the Owls Head truck.”

The St. George truck partially left the roadway into the ditch while the Owls Head truck left the roadway completely coming to rest on its passenger side.

One of the firefighters within one of those two trucks radioed Knox Regional Communications Center to report the accident at approximately 1:10 p.m.

The roadway was then closed to non-emergency vehicles for approximately two hours, according to KCSO. Automaster Towing was called to the scene for vehicle recovery; both vehicles are considered inoperable at this time.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Knox Regional Communications Center, St. George EMS, So. Thomaston EMS, Rockland EMS, Lifeflight of Maine, Maine State Police, and numerous Fire Departments that were able spare staff during the Tyler Lane blaze.

Further details of the report will likely not be available for a couple of weeks, according to KCSO.

ST. GEORGE — State accident reconstructionists will be making a determination as to how two active fire trucks went off of the Clark Island Road pavement, Thursday, Oct. 17.  

Around 1:15 p.m., an Owls Head fire truck was rushing to the scene of a fire just as a St. George tanker was rushing to a water station on Route 73.

For reasons not yet confirmed by Knox County Sheriff’s Office, as the two vehicles approached each other, the Owls Head truck ended up in the eastbound ditch on its side and the St. George truck swerved into the trees along the westbound lane. 

According to KCSO Sheriff Tim Carroll, his department has a good idea of the cause, which resulted in three firefighters being transported. However, because the trucks are official emergency vehicles, reconstructionists are required to come to the scene. 

Also according to Sheriff Carroll, because of the accident, 13 fire departments were involved in some capacity with either the truck accident or with the nearby fire on Tyler Lane, a few dozen feet from the Craignair Inn. 


See our corresponding article: Firefighters from multiple Knox County towns battle St. George house fire


These articles will be updated as more information becomes available.

Reach Sarah Thompson at news@penbaypilot.com