Semi hauling empty tanker crashes through guardrail near Orondo

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Photo by Orondo Firefighters Association

The driver of a tanker truck had to be rescued early this morning after his semi went through a guardrail and down an embankment on Highway 97 near Orondo.

The driver, Kenneth Pierce, 29, of Moses Lake was trapped in the semi but was freed uninjured by Orondo firefighters and a Washington State Patrol trooper.

The tanker normally hauls fuel but “fortunately it was empty,” said Trooper John Bryant.

About 3:49 a.m., the southbound truck went off the road about a half mile north of Orondo, through guardrail and down a 40-foot embankment, Bryant said.

The Orondo Firefighters Association said after the semi lost control it lost its trailer, which left the highway and became lodged in a tree.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, Bryant said, though Pierce is likely to be cited.