Water tanker totaled while heading to fire

PLUMSTED — A 3,500-gallon water tanker belonging to the New Egypt Fire Company was totaled in an accident that occurred as the vehicle was responding to the scene of an attic fire at 201 Route 539 in neighboring Upper Freehold Township, Monmouth County, on Sept. 9.

While en route to the fire at 8:06 a.m., the New Egypt vehicle designated as Tender 3918 hit a dirt embankment and careened off the road while rounding a bend near the intersection of High Bridge and Moorehouse roads and North Main Street in Plumsted.

As a result of the accident, the tanker overturned, landing on its passenger side, according to information provided in a press release.

The driver of the water tanker was able to free himself from the wreckage. He was treated at the scene and transported to RobertWood Johnson University Hospital, Hamilton, with what were described as minor injuries.

The transport was provided by the Plumsted Township Emergency Medical Services Unit.

A pedestrian who was in the area where the accident occurred sustained what were described as minor injuries. She was treated at the scene by Plumsted EMS and was transported to the same medical facility.

Both individuals were treated in the Emergency Department and released. Their names were not released.

A ladder truck that was ahead of the water tanker at the time of the accident stopped and rendered assistance at the scene of the accident.

“We’re just very fortunate it wasn’t worse,” New Egypt Fire Company Deputy Chief Steve Morgan said. “Honestly, once the crash happened, we turned around and cancelled going to Monmouth County. I was told the fire wasn’t that big. We had our own incidents.”

Water tankers are used by fire companies to provide water to firefighting equipment when there is no other water source available to fight a fire.

Morgan said the loss of the water tanker has been a tough pill for the fire company to swallow.

“We are having some issues with the insurance company because it’s a unique tanker,” Morgan said. “There is nothing comparable out on the market with what we had.”

Plumsted police Sgt. Robert Pintye and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the accident.

Other fire companies responded to the fire at the Route 539 address in Upper Freehold Township. No information about that fire was available.