SELKIRK — A box truck transporting auto parts overturned Tuesday evening, Nov. 22, near the Beaver Dam Road overpass on the New York state Thruway.
Authorities said the truck spun around and rolled over, pulling out several yards of guardrail, before ultimately facing southbound. The driver reportedly received only minor injuries.
Highway traffic, much of which is presumed to have been motorists getting a jump on this week’s holiday travel, was backed up for miles before the accident scene was cleared.
An eyewitness said the box truck started to sway before losing control. According to Weather Underground, last night’s wind gusts registered as high as 40 m.p.h. at the Albany International Airport in Latham.
“There were high winds on the Thruway last night,” said Michael McCormick, a New Jersey resident, who was driving behind the truck with his wife and 3-year-old son. “I don’t know. It looked like he just weaved out into the right hand lane and rolled over the rumble stripes,” before the truck spun out of control.
McCormick said he stopped his car before jumping out to join other motorists helping the truck driver. Three bystanders were already attempting to help the driver out of the cab, who was conscious and trying to find his cell phone. When McCormick observed fuel leaking out of the truck, he urged everyone to get out and away.
“He was moving, so my thought was to get him out and move everyone to safety,” said McCormick. Once the driver was out, he said he and another driver also helped stop traffic before the police arrived. “Another guy and I took it upon ourselves to basically stop Thruway traffic… before the police, fire department and ambulance showed up.”
With serious injuries avoided, McCormick said he and his wife can now joke about the “high-powered” flashlight he used to access the accident scene. The flashlight was something his father-in-law had purchased over the internet, and was initially thought to be a gag gift.
“That thing was bright as hell,” said McCormick. “Oh, yeah. It works.”