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Akron, Ohio

Akron Police and Akron Fire Issue Update on Route 8 Tanker Crash

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Sierjie Lash
Published: 08-25-2020

Akron, Ohio, August 25, 2020 (4:00 PM)—Akron Police and Fire responded to Route 8 N between Tallmadge Ave. and Cuyahoga Falls Ave. for a vehicle crash involving a car and a gasoline tanker at 7:44 a.m. The collision resulted in a tanker truck fire causing Route 8 north and southbound traffic to be diverted for several hours. Fire companies reported heavy smoke from the scene and deployed the Haz-Mat and Foam Truck to the scene for additional resources to handle the fire.

Due to the dangerous conditions of fire and toxic gas in the area, residents and businesses were notified just before 8:00 a.m. for evacuation. Approximately 100 homes in the area were contacted for evacuation and safety purposes.  Metro RTA buses were available for residents to temporarily evacuate at a safe distance. Akron Police, Ohio State Patrol and University of Akron Police were on scene to re-direct traffic, assist with evacuations, and crash scene investigation. Additional Akron Fire personnel were on hand to monitor gas levels inside of homes near the crash site. Any residents who smell the odor of gas throughout the evening are encouraged to call 9-1-1 so Akron Fire may come out and measure gas levels.

The crash scene is still being processed for evidence by the Akron Police Accident Reconstruction Unit and remains under investigation.

Due to the severity of the crash, there was one fatality, the driver of the car.  The driver of the tanker truck did not sustain any serious injuries.  The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy.  The victim’s name is being withheld pending positive identification and family notifications.

The fire also impacted City of Akron infrastructure.  The accident site was very near to a storm sewer inlet.  Some of the gasoline leaked from the tanker and entered this storm sewer and traveled within the sewer pipe to its discharge point at the Cuyahoga River near the High Level Bridge.  The Akron Fire Department utilized flame retardant foam to reduce the flames and break down the gasoline.  An emergency environmental remediation company, on behalf of the tanker company, is performing additional remediation work, including placing absorbent booms which restrict access to the affected place along the River.  Summit Metro Parks has suspended fishing in the area until August 29th, as a precaution.  For more information about any temporary impact on recreation at this location of the River, please visit the Summit Metro Parks, Park &Trail Alerts page at www.summitmetroparks.org/summit-metro-parks-alerts.

The affected storm sewer carries rainwater from the roadway and into a discharge point of the Cuyahoga River nearby.  This pipe is not a combined sewer pipe and does not connect to residential sanitary sewer drains. The City will be conducting an assessment of any damage to this storm sewer and making any necessary repairs.

The large fire also severely damaged the roadway of Route 8 northbound.  As soon as the wreckage recovery and removal was complete, City contractors began emergency work to repair and repave the damaged portion of the road, in coordination with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).  State Route 8 northbound between Tallmadge Ave. and Howe Ave. will be reduced to one lane today, August 25, starting at 4:00 p.m. through 10:00 p.m. tonight for pavement repairs. Motorists can expect delays.

“I am incredibly proud of the organized and professional response from our emergency responders today,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “Akron Police, Akron Fire and our Service Department crews, in coordination with many of our local partners, worked diligently and efficiently to reduce the risks and impacts of this serious and tragic event on the public.” 

For further information, contact:
Sierjie Lash
Lieutenant, Akron Fire Department
Phone: (330) 375-2880
E-mail: [email protected]

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