Coal Truck Flips, Blocks Route 61

A coal truck overturned Wednesday when, police said, the driver lost control on Route 61 in Kulpmont.

Police said the driver of the truck was coming up on a line of traffic and as he slammed on his brakes to try to slow down the truck rolled onto its side, spilling 23 tons of coal.

Judy Price is a manger at Fuel On along Route 61 in Kulpmont. She said it started out as a normal day at work.

“All of a sudden the whole building shook and I heard this boom. I thought we were done. Shane came running and said, “Oh my god, there’s an 18 wheeler in the parking lot,'” Price said.

It turned out to be the dump truck that rolled onto its side, spilling all the coal onto the road and onto a sidewalk.

“All I heard was the boom and I thought the gas station blew up. That’s all I heard. Glad no one was hurt though. There’s usually always kids out here, back and forth all day,” said a man who lives just feet from where the truck overturned.

One lane of the busy road was closed for almost four hours while crews cleaned up the mess.

“This has absolutely shut us down. We are not making any money today,” Price added.

The manager at Fuel On said the truck actually fell in the best spot it could, missing a house and some gas pumps by just a few feet.

“(It) scared me.  Lucky no one was hurt, that’s all I can say,” the neighbor added.

The Kulpmont police chief said the truck driver from Altoona will be cited.

Route 61 reopened around 1:30 p.m.

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