COLLINS LANDING Several emergency crews responded to the Thousand Islands International Bridge after a tractor-trailer heading north on Interstate 81 overturned on the guardrail near the bridges tollbooths.
The crash took place around 2 p.m. Tuesday after the tractor-trailer apparently was cut off by another vehicle advancing toward the bridge. Hitting the dividing guardrail, the tractor-trailer then traveled over the rail, cutting into one of the cabs fuel lines and turning the vehicle onto its right side.
Were very fortunate we have no major injuries here, said Shane R. Sanford, who served as spokesman at the scene for the Thousand Island Bridge Authority. He said the situation could have been worse if cars had been traveling south near the crash scene or if the tractor-trailer had stayed upright long enough to hit the bridges tollbooths.
State Police Sgt. Edward C. Fillingham said about 40 gallons of fuel was spilled in the crash, with much of the southbound lanes appearing to be covered in fuel. Crews on Tuesday could be seen placing sand around the rigs cab to prevent fuel from spreading further.
The only reported injury from the crash was to the driver of the tractor-trailer, Daljit Singh, 28, Montreal, Quebec. Mr. Singh was taken to River Hospital, Alexandria Bay, where he was treated for minor arm injuries.
He was charged with driving too fast for the wet road conditions. The tractor-trailer belongs to AJIT Transport Inc., Dorval, Quebec.
Police said video of the accident taken by a TIBA camera showed that the truck was cut off by another vehicle. They said they had identified that vehicle and were seeking to speak with the owner.
The tractor-trailers cargo area appeared to be empty, minus a set of rubber sheets and unused pallets.
Southbound traffic from the bridge was redirected through the nearby visitors center, while the left side of the northbound lane heading toward the bridge was closed off.
Nick R. Donnelly, 22, LaFargeville, was working in a tollbooth when the crash occurred.
I heard the brakes, Mr. Donnelly said. That was about it. It was pretty quick.
He said that after he saw the crash near his booth, he ran to the truck to see if the driver was all right. He said the driver was responsive and was able to get out of the vehicle without assistance.
Mr. Donnelly said that when he tried to talk with the driver, he could not understand the drivers French.
Mr. Donnelly, who has worked at the bridge for two years, said the crash was unlike anything else he had seen on the job.
Among the emergency agencies at the scene were the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Wellesley Island Volunteer Fire Department and Fishers Landing Volunteer Fire Department. Also responding was Joseph D. Plummer, Jefferson County director of fire and emergency management.