RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A tractor trailer carrying gravel crashed an LIE exit ramp Tuesday, the second 18-wheeler accident that morning.
Just hours after a tractor trailer crashed onto its side at a Long Island Expressway exit ramp, a second tractor trailer has rolled over just a few hundred feet from the first accident site, Riverhead Town police said.
The 18-wheeler hauling a gravel mix was driving on the Exit 73 off-ramp when it tilted and crashed onto its side shortly before noon, police at the scene said.
Riverhead police Sgt. Stephen Palmer said the driver had been driving “a little too fast” and lost control of the trailer.
The road had just been reopened following the earlier crash.
The driver in the second crash suffered non life-threatening injuries and was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment.
Riverhead and Suffolk County police were called to the scene, as well as Riverhead firefighters, who cleaned up fuel that spilled from the truck. Police closed the LIE between Exits 72 and 73 as the scene was cleared. As of 1 p.m., the road was still closed.
The crash was the second tractor trailer rollover accident in less than 12 hours.
In the earlier crash, a tractor trailer carrying groceries for local convenience stories crashed onto its side about 3:45 a.m. after its driver swerved on the same exit ramp to avoid a deer, shutting the road down for seven hours.
No one was seriously hurt in that first crash.
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A towing company employee watches on as the overturned tractor trailer is righted at Exit 73 of the LIE Tuesday morning. Hours later, a second tractor trailer would crash in the same spot.
Riverhead Fire Chief Joseph Raynor said the driver and co-driver of the truck were already outside the overturned vehicle by the time fire trucks arrived on the scene.
Both men were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and later released, an official for the truck company said.
“They’re very lucky,” the employee said.
The truck had been delivering food and goods to local convenience stores at the time of the crash. The firefighters’ hazmat crew was called to the scene because of bleach that was being transported by the truck.
The contents of the trailer were emptied out and loaded into another truck to allow tow crews to right the 18-wheeler.
The Long Island Expressway was closed between exits 72 and 73 until noon as crews cleaned up the crash scene, complicating the morning commute Tuesday, police said.