Portola Valley: Fire drill interrupted by out-of-control dump truck

The crashed dump truck that had been sitting among the trees above Los Trancos Creek just west of Ford Field in Portola Valley has been moved. A tow truck now has the truck under control, Battalion Chief Rob Lindner of the Woodside Fire Protection District told the Almanac.

The truck had gone out of control Wednesday morning when it hurtled down the very steep Westridge Drive and careered through the intersection at Alpine Road, broke through a fence and ran into the vegetation, which slowed it down. The truck came to rest against some trees.

There were no serious injuries, but about 75 gallons of diesel fuel had spilled onto the ground from the truck's ruptured fuel tank, Mr. Lindner said. The town's Public Works Department is cleaning that up. Firefighters isolated the fuel when it spilled and it did not enter the creek, he said.

Firefighters are using the Ford Field parking lot as a staging area for a day-long drill simulating an aggressive wildfire. The drill had just gotten going when the dump truck ran through the intersection, Mr. Lindner said.

"It wasn't a part of our drill," he added.

The 12-wheeled, full-size dump truck was loaded, perhaps with broken-up concrete, and was coming down Westridge from a private residential site. Upon entering the intersection at Alpine Road, the driver veered right to avoid firefighting equipment in the parking lot, broke through a wooden fence, passed through the vegetation and came to rest against a tree above the creek, Mr. Lindner said.

With EMTs on the scene, a couple of crews were assigned to the accident, but there was no need for transport to a hospital, Mr. Lindner said. The accident caused "a slight delay" in the fire drill, he said.

The dump truck has a cracked frame and significant front-end damage, Mr. Lindner said.


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Posted by John Skadden
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Having this fire drill is very important as we enter what could be a very long and active fire season. However, since the detour is up and over Westridge, it's a little frustrating that the road work on Westridge didn't get the day off.

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Posted by janet
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on May 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Yesterday the San Mateo BOS decided that trucks on Alpine were not a problem and they refused to do anything to regulate them: size, cargo, or speed. They cited possible objection by the City of MP to trucks being rerouted onto Sand Hill!!!!

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