STOCKHOLM CENTER — A milk tanker carrying a half load of organic milk crashed into the passenger side of a sports utility vehicle before the tanker flipped onto its side, skidded approximately 150 yards,, crashed through a guide rail and rolled two times before coming to rest at the bottom of an embankment.
The late model GMC Suburban came to rest a short distance from the collision point in a yard, and when emergency personnel and passersby first arrived on the scene, they found the driver lying on the ground next to the sports utility vehicle. They initially believed he had been ejected from his vehicle but later learned he had crawled out of the window of his vehicle to safety.
The tanker truck driver, Gregory Roes, 35, of Carthage, and the sports utility vehicle operator, Chico M. Newman, 38, of 1731 55th St., St. Charles, Mo., were both taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Potsdam, by Tri-Town Rescue following the 2 p.m. Wednesday accident. Both were treated and released with only bruises and minor lacerations.
Frank W. Burns, a deputy fire/rescue coordinator for St. Lawrence County, said the minor injuries to the two drivers shocked emergency personnel when they first arrived on the scene and saw the damage to the truck.
“From the damage to both vehicles, I'm very surprised there weren't two fatalities. If I was that truck driver, I'd be buying lottery tickets,” he said.
State police said their investigation into the cause of the accident is continuing, and tickets are pending.
Troopers said Mr. Roes was westbound on Route 11 near the intersection with Route 11C in the town of Stockholm when his tractor-trailer and Mr. Newman's eastbound sports utility vehicle collided.
Mr. Burns said the tanker had an 8,000 gallon capacity.
“There is no baffle system in those milk tankers, so when there is a quick movement, there is nothing to stop the load from shifting. It is very easy to roll,” he said.