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Keyword: bureau of utilities

Lassell “Tony” Burger is Credited with Preventing Potentially Fatal Multi-Vehicle Accident 

It was a full house this morning as Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz presented a Baltimore County Hero Pin to Bureau of Utilities Masonry Mechanic Lassell “Tony” Burger, who maneuvered his work truck into position to help prevent a potentially fatal multi-car accident on the Beltway.

“They say the true mark of a hero is when someone says they did what anyone would do; well, no one else but Tony stepped up, and that is why I am honored to present him with a Baltimore County Hero Pin,” Kamenetz said.

“We appreciate the measures that Tony took to mitigate a potentially catastrophic chain reaction accident from occurring,” said Baltimore County Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III. Chief Preis was so impressed with Tony’s actions and demeanor that he encouraged him to consider joining the Baltimore County Fire Department.

A Runaway Car and an Alert Truck Driver

On Thursday afternoon, July 6, a driver in medical distress was not fully in control of his vehicle, and was travelling at highway speeds on the left shoulder of the inner loop of the Baltimore Beltway. Citizen reports on the scene indicate that his Toyota Yaris had travelled erratically along the shoulder of I-695 from about Liberty Road to near Harford Road, occasionally bumping into traffic cones and signs.

Tony Burger was leaving a job site where he had completed a storm drain repair, and saw the car when he entered the Beltway at Dulaney Valley Road. As he followed the car, he realized that something was definitely wrong. He turned on his emergency lights and blew the horn, but was unable to get the driver’s attention. He knew that if he didn’t do something, the driver was likely to crash, potentially killing himself and others.

Tony pulled from the shoulder back into the fast lane and sped up to get around the front of the car. He positioned his County truck (a four-door water services truck) in front of the car and prepared to collide with the car in order to slow it down and bring it to a safe stop on the shoulder of the highway. Just prior to contact, the out-of-control car hit a storm drain grate, blew a tire and careened into the jersey wall, which brought it to a stop. Police and medic units responded and the driver was transported to the hospital for treatment.

About Our Hero and the Man He Helped Rescue

Lassell “Tony” Burger is a Bureau of Utilities Masonry Mechanic who works on storm drains and wastewater pipeline repairs. He has been with the County since March of 2010, works out of the Fullerton Utilities Shop and resides in Baltimore City. He works part-time at the Lansdowne Home Depot store. Tony says he doesn’t consider himself a hero and was just responding based on how his parents raised him to always try to help people.

The driver, Robert “Mighty Moe” Bruce is an Air Force veteran (former Staff Sargent and M.P.) who worked for AT&T and Western Electric as a radar technician. According to his wife, Annie Bruce, he is the winner of four Golden Glove boxing championships, two of which he earned while serving in the Air Force. He and his wife have lived in the Arlington neighborhood of Baltimore City for almost 40 years.

One More Recognition

At today’s ceremony, Annie Bruce personally thanked Station #8 Fire Specialist Jessica Alford, who responded to the incident and noticed that there were perishable groceries in the car. She took it upon herself to store them for several days and ensure that they got back to the Bruce’s. 

Photos from today’s event may be viewed and downloaded at Please feel free to share these pictures.

Public advised to avoid contact with water while Department of Health monitors water quality

A sanitary sewer overflow was discovered late Tuesday morning in a wooded area north of Coppermill Court in Owings Mills. Crews from Baltimore County’s Bureau of Utilities responded to contain the discharge from a sewer manhole. They worked through the day to establish a pump-around using three pumps. The release was stopped by 10:45 p.m. Tuesday night.

The sewage overflow, estimated at 212,500 gallons, was apparently the result of damage from stream debris to two manholes which happened during recent, hard rains. Debris entered the damaged manholes and blocked an 18-inch diameter pipe.

The overflow occurred in a densely wooded area, from a manhole located in a tributary to the Gwynns Falls. Utility crews are liming and cleaning up the area, but the public is advised to avoid contact with the water. The Baltimore County Department of Health is monitoring water quality in the area and has issued a water contact advisory on the Department's website:

Please follow this link for more information:

Approximately 21,000 gallons released into Gwynns Falls

Baltimore County Bureau of Utility crews discovered a sanitary sewer overflow yesterday morning near Marston Road, located south of Liberty Road and west of the Beltway in Woodlawn. Investigating crews found a broken gravity sewer line which was discharging into a storm drain. They set up two pump-around operations to control the overflow – estimated at 21,100 gallons – and stopped the discharge by 5:30 p.m. yesterday.

Upon discovery, crews found that the overflow was unusually clean and debris-free, making tracing the source difficult. Crews then dye tested the sewer system upstream, revealing the extent of the overflow which had mixed with the natural runoff from a tributary to the Gwynns Falls. They then established two pump-around operations to halt the flow. 

  The public is advised to avoid contact with the waste water. The Baltimore County Department of Health will continue to monitor water quality in the Gwynns Falls and has issued a water contact advisories on their web page:

Revised September 11, 2017