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Driver dies in crash of pumping tanker

By Staff | Sep 15, 2015

CLARKSTOWN The owner of a sanitation company died Saturday, August 22 when the nearly empty 1,000-gallon sewage pumping tanker truck he was driving went over a 25-foot embankment and crashed into a SUV that was then pushed several feet into a garage on Exchange Road, according to state police.

Dorrance H. Berger, 73, was ejected from his company-owned truck when the crash occurred about 3:10 p.m., police said.

“At this time, we don’t know what caused him to go off the road,” Trooper Ronald Barrett, the lead investigator, said.

He said investigators did not know if the crash might have been caused by an issue with the brakes or if the driver might have become ill moments before the tanker truck went off the road.

The crash occurred in the 100 block of Exchange Road, just off of Route 442, about 4 miles east of here, in Moreland Township.

Berger, the owner of Berger Sanitation Service, of Muncy, was traveling north as he went off the road near a curve, police said. As it rolled down an embankment, it slammed into a Chevrolet Blazer that was parked a few feet from a garage in a gravel driveway.

Barrett said the truck pushed the SUV 5 to 10 feet into the structure. He did not release the name of the property owner or identify the owner of the SUV.

Berger was thrown about 15 feet from the truck, landing in the driveway, police said.

Jerold Ross, the county’s chief county coroner, pronounced Berger dead at the scene and said that he died of “multiple blunt-force-trauma injuries.”

“We believe the truck rolled twice and that Berger was ejected as it rolled,” Ross said.

Muncy Area volunteer firefighters and paramedics from the Susquehanna Health System responded to the crash.

James Michael, a Muncy Area assistant chief, said there was little or no environmental hazard as a result of the crash because there was very little waste in the tanker.

However, a crew from the state Department of Environment Protection did respond and cleaned up what sewage waste did spill out of the truck, Barrett said.

Michael said the owners of the garage were not home at the time.