Truck strikes, ruptures gas line

REPUBLIC – A dump truck hauling 15 tons of asphalt struck and ruptured a gas line in Adams Township Monday morning. The accident occurred about 5 feet from where a semi struck a balancing station for two pipelines, causing a large fire, in February 2012.

The accident at 7255 E. CR 38 was reported at 11:17 a.m. Monday, according to a Seneca County Sheriff’s Office report. It shut down East CR 38 as crews worked at the scene and forced the evacuation of two homes.

Deputy Denny Wilkinson said Joseph W. Gyetvi, 57, of Continental, was driving a 2005 Western Star tri-axle dump truck owned by Vorst Paving westbound on East CR 38 when he took his eyes off the road. The truck went off the right side of the roadway, struck and snapped off a North Central Electric Cooperative pole, hit a driveway culvert, went across a driveway and hit a gas line, he said.

It ruptured the line, and it was flowing natural gas, Wilkinson said.

“Luckily, there was no fire this time,” he said.

Wilkinson said Gyetvi was wearing a seatbelt and declined treatment. He was cited with failure to control, Wilkinson said.

Personnel from Columbia Gas, the county’s Echo unit, Green Springs fire, North Central Electric Cooperative and Republic fire and EMS responded, according to the sheriff’s office.

Wilkinson said the house at the scene lost electricity. The siding on the house was melted when a gas line was struck at the same spot last year, he said.

William Anderson, a firefighter on Green Springs Volunteer Fire Department, was serving on Green Springs EMS the night of the fire last year. He said he could see it from 2 to 3 miles away and described it as a giant fireball shooting out of the ground.

“(It) just leaked,” he said of Monday’s incident.