Asphalt grinder tips over, blocks Highway 14

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: September 14, 2012, 5:43 PM

 

An asphalt grinder tipped over onto its side Friday afternoon between Southeast Second and Sixth streets on the westbound side of state Highway 14 in Washougal, closing the highway in both directions for half an hour, according to Abbi Russell, spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Transportation.

At 12:41 p.m. firefighters responded to the scene, where they found the asphalt grinder on its side near the highway but not blocking traffic.

The driver had been thrown from the vehicle but had only minor scrapes and bruises, according to Camas-Washougal Fire Department Chief Nick Swinhart.

“We closed SR 14 in both directions for the safety of the operator, response crews and drivers,” Russel said. “It’s pretty tight there because of all the construction, so there’s not a lot of room.”

Initially, the Vancouver Fire Department was dispatched to perform a heavy rescue, but they were not needed.

“It was one of those things that could have been really, really bad,” Swinhart said.

Swinhart said he didn’t know why the top-heavy vehicle tipped over. Crews sent a crane to pull the asphalt grinder upright. The westbound lane was closed for a few minutes while it was righted, Russell said.