I-81 accident in MD caused by overturned truck carrying ammonium nitrate, causes 3 hour long evacuations

26 June 2023- Maryland State Police are investigating an overturned tanker truck crash the occurred this morning in Washington County.

Shortly before 6:15 a.m., troopers from the Maryland State Police Hagerstown Barrack responded to a report of an overturned tanker truck on southbound Interstate 81 north of Halfway Boulevard in Hagerstown, Maryland. According to a preliminary investigation, a tire blew out of the truck, causing the vehicle to swerve off the roadway, through the guardrail and down an embankment.

The driver of the truck, Steven Patrick Norfolk, 32, of Pennsylvania, was transported by ambulance to Meritus Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. The tanker truck was carrying ammonium nitrate, with about three to five gallons spilling into the road.   

Detours were established that forced traffic from northbound I-81 traffic to exit onto Halfway Boulevard and southbound I-81 traffic to being routed onto westbound US Route 40. As a precaution, nearby businesses within 1,500 feet of the scene were asked to evacuate before being allowed to return by 9:30 a.m. I-81 north was reopened by 8:50 a.m. Southbound I-81 was still partially closed as of 10:40 a.m.

Troopers from the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division are assisting in the investigation. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration assisted with the road closures. Deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Washington County fire department crews also assisted at the scene.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation

Pictures below are from the Hagerstown Fire Department’s Facebook page.