Report released on USFS engine rollover in Wyoming

Engine 492, front

Engine 492, front

The U.S. Forest Service has released a report on the August 8, 2013 rollover of Engine 492 southwest of Newcastle, Wyoming. In August we provided some information from the 72-hour report.

Below is an excerpt from the summary — you can read the entire report HERE.

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“On Thursday, August 8, 2013 Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grasslands Engine 492, a 2013 KME Type 4 engine was involved in a rollover accident along Wyoming State Highway 450. The accident occurred around noon, as Engine 492 was responding to the Osage Fire, in mutual aid assistance to Weston County, Wyoming. The accident occurred near mile marker 40, or approximately 10 miles east of the Thunder Basin Work Center.

The engine left the highway, veered slightly to the right side of the road hitting a paved apron to a side gate, with the driver seeking to decelerate and regain control of the engine. The engine returned to the road, with the engine brakes being heavily applied, then redirected back to the highway, which resulted in crossing the center line and going to the opposite road edge. Engine 492 rolled over a few times before coming to rest on its wheels (up-right).

At the time of the accident all three members of Engine 492 were wearing their seatbelts. Use of seatbelts and the integrity of the engine cab are likely the principal reasons for the survivability of this accident. All three crew members were hurt in the accident and the Type 4 engine was a total loss. Two of the crew members were transported by ambulance to Newcastle, Wyoming and the third member was transported by ambulance to the high school practice field in Wright, Wyoming where he was transferred to, and then transported by helicopter to the hospital in Casper, Wyoming. The two crewmembers that were transported to Newcastle, Wyoming were released later the same day. However, the injuries sustained by the third member resulted in a longer stay in Casper and release from the hospital on Saturday, August 10th…”

Engine 492, left side Engine 492, wide

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

One thought on “Report released on USFS engine rollover in Wyoming”

  1. After reading the report there was not a statement why the engine left the traffic lanes of the roadway in the first place. But the description describes situations I have seen a number of times before.

    Road shoulders often have a thinner layer of pavement and soft rain soaked soil will cause them to loose their ability to support weight. I have seen and investigated more then one incident/mishap where this has happened.

    After reading the full report I would place the cause directly on the driver. He/she was behind the wheel and directly responsible for the vehicles operation. A clear day, open straight road, light traffic no reported mechanical problems.

    Operating heavy trucks takes practice and skill. If you add in off road operation it takes even more. Add a high center of gravity, a large tank of water and unstable ground and one is looking at a whole new skill set. Engine academy’s that are correctly conducted can do that along with a extended period of training under a trainer. Just possession of a CDL does not.

    The reports summary did bring up a number of good points on training and experience.

    I’m thankful no one was badly injured. The loss of the engine in these cash thin times will be a loss to the fire operation.

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