Two accidents in one day leave lengthy cleanup in Hilltowns

— Photo from Bob Tanner
Flipped sideways: An excavator on a trailer hitched to a dump truck remarkably remained in place when the truck overturned in Rensselaerville — it was chained in place, said Rensselaerville Volunteer Fire Company Chief Bob Tanner.

HILLTOWNS — Two big trucks turned over Monday, leading to cleanup to protect waters. That morning, a tractor trailer overturned in Westerlo and spilled 3,000 gallons of manure. That evening, a dump truck crashed at the bridge overlooking Ten Mile Creek in Rensselaerville, leaving the bridge impassable.

Manure spills in Westerlo

At about 10:50 a.m. Monday, the driver of a tractor trailer carrying 6,000 gallons of liquid manure saw deer on the road. He swerved off the road, and the truck rolled over until it stopped by the tree line next to the road, according to a release from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.

The truck was driving on Route 411 towards Greenville, said Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company Chief Kevin Flensted, when it took a sharp turn past Silver Creek Road and overturned. The driver, Michael Stanton of Ravena, a part-owner of Stanton Farms, became pinned in the vehicle. A farmer working in a field nearby notified authorities.

Westerlo’s Assistant Fire Chief Tom Diederich was the first to arrive on scene, said Flensted, and the firefighters then began extricating Stanton from the vehicle, which proved difficult as the cab was crushed from the accident. The fire company had to use ladders to reach Stanton, said Flensted, and it took almost 50 minutes to do so. Once he was freed, Stanton complained of lower back pain, said Flensted, and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center. According to the sheriff’s office, his condition was serious but stable. The fire department stayed on the scene until 3:30 p.m., while other agencies remained to continue the cleanup.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the the City of Albany Water Department responded to the scene, as some diesel fuel, antifreeze, and oil, as well as 3,000 gallons of manure had spilled from the truck. The accident occurred near a tributary of the Alcove Reservoir — one of three reservoirs used by the city of Albany — according to City of Albany Department of Water and Water Supply Commissioner Joseph Coffey.

According to Coffey, following a call from the sheriff’s office, a reservoir patrol guard was dispatched to inspect the accident and ensure that liquid manure had not entered one of the tributaries to the reservoir. Coffey said that it was confirmed that this had not occurred, and no further action was taken.

“It’s just another example of how we collaborate,” he said, of the various agencies’ response. “Everybody works pretty closely together.”

According to the DEC, a loader was used to recover spilled manure. Sawdust and hay bales were then used to stem the flow of manure due to the expected storms that occurred yesterday afternoon in most of the region. These efforts prevented further movement of the manure, and no surface water was affected, said the DEC. Soil impacted by the spill was excavated to be disposed of.

The Greenville Volunteer Fire Company, State Police, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, the Westerlo Rescue Squad, and the sheriff’s emergency medical service also responded.


— Photo from Kevin Flensted
The crushed remains of a tractor trailer are seen on Monday off of Route 411 in
Westerlo, after it overturned and spilled 3,000 gallons of liquid manure.


Stanton Farms responds

“He’s very lucky,” said Mark Stanton, the father of Michael Stanton and part-owner with his son of Stanton Farms, a dairy farm in Coeymans Hollow that produces milk for the dairy product manufacturer Garelick Farms in Rensselaer.

According to Stanton, his son sustained a couple of cracked vertebrae and a broken rib. Speaking to The Enterprise on Tuesday, he said it was possible his son would be released that day from the hospital, with some recovery time needed at home.

According to Stanton, his son had been hauling manure from the dairy farm to one of the 3,000 acres of fields the farm leases, describing it as a routine task.

He said his son had seen around three deer in the road that he had swerved to avoid. Returning to the scene of the accident with his wife, Stanton said they saw deer run across the road.

“The whole area is being overrun by deer,” he said.

The cost is likely to be around $75,000 for the loss of the tractor trailer, as well as costs for towing and for the manure spilled, in total a significant loss, said Stanton.

Still, he said, he is grateful his son is recovering.

“He would be the biggest loss,” he said.

Stanton and other workers at the farm assisted with the cleanup following the accident, such as setting up hay bales to stop the flow of manure.

The farm last had a similar accident years ago, said Stanton, when a truck rolled over.

“We’re all trying to our very best to have trucks very safe,” he said, noting his farm uses an environmental planner to ensure its work does not cause environmental disruptions.

Dump truck overturns in Rensselaerville

The sheriff’s office was called to Rensselaerville on Monday a little after 6 p.m. to respond to an overturned dump truck near the intersection of State Route 85 and County Route 353, according to a release from the office.


— Photo from Bob Tanner
Close encounter: A member of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office inspects an accident in the hamlet of Rensselaerville, where a dump truck nearly rammed into a home on Monday.


Coming down from Route 353, the truck driver tried to navigate the sharp turn, and lost control, said Rensselaerville Volunteer Fire Company Chief Bob Tanner. The truck hit the guardrail along the bridge over Ten Mile Creek and slid down the bridge, stopping just before it hit a home in Rensselarville’s hamlet.

Tanner and the rest of the fire company arrived just as the driver, Brian Cook, of Albany, had extricated himself from the truck’s cab. According to the sheriff’s office, Cook had minor injuries to his back and shoulder, and was transported by the sheriff’s emergency medical service responders to Albany Medical Center.

Cook said his brakes had failed on the steep turn, according to the sheriff’s office. He had a properly endorsed New York State driver’s license, but was issued a citation for operating a vehicle with an expired New York State inspection certificate.

The truck was carrying wet dirt, clay, and plumbing parts in its bed, said Tanner. The flatbed had a trailer hitched to it, carrying an excavator, which stayed attached during the crash due to the many chains attaching it.

According to the DEC, which also responded to this accident, an estimated one to two gallons of diesel fuel spilled from the truck’s tanks. The fire department applied absorbent pads and materials to remove the fuel, and no surface waters were impacted. Tanner noted that Westerlo’s fire company offered a spill kit to be used for cleanup.

Tanner said the storm that occurred that evening made cleanup difficult.

“It just made the whole situation a lot harder,” he said.

The fire company, having responded a little after 6 p.m. as dozens called in the accident, was on scene until about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Tanner. The Albany County Department of Public Works finished cleanup of the spilled flatbed later that morning. The bridge was barricaded, and the county’s department of public works will have to come up with a plan to repair it, he added.

The accident is still under investigation by the sheriff’s office, said Tanner.

The Medusa Fire Department and Tri-Village Fire Department also responded to the scene, according to the Sheriff’s office.

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