UPDATED: Tractor-trailer driver dies after Bennington crash
BENNINGTON – The driver of a tractor-trailer that went off Route 202 Wednesday morning and flipped over was pronounced dead when he arrived at Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, Bennington Police Chief Steve Campbell said.
The driver, Julien Gonthier, 53, of Canada, had just picked up lumber from New England Forest Products in Greenfield and was headed north on Route 202 in Bennington when, witnesses say, he went off the road, into the guard rail and flipped over into a brook, Campbell said.
Emergency responders were called to the scene at 11:14 a.m. for a report of a trapped and unconscious driver.
"Somehow he lost control of the truck," Campbell said. Witnesses traveling behind the tractor-trailer told Campbell the vehicle had not been speeding or skidding, did not swerve or brake, just drifted off the road and flipped over.
Antrim firefighters extricated Gonthier from the cab of the truck using the Jaws of Life.
The small brook by Route 202 was flooded by overflow from the nearby river, he said, so the driver was found submerged in three feet of water.
He was taken to Monadnock Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead, Campbell said. The cause of death is unknown at this time and the cause of the single vehicle crash is still under investigation.
A state police accident reconstruction team responded to study the scene.
As of 3:30 p.m. Route 202 had one lane open to traffic.
Previous story follows:
BENNINGTON - A tractor-trailer left the northbound lane of Route 202 Wednesday morning and overturned into a brook flooded by overflow from a nearby river.
Emergency responders were called to the scene at 11:14 a.m. Wednesday for a report of a trapped and unconscious driver.
Shortly after the driver was removed from the cab and taken by ambulance to Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, Bennington Police Chief Steve Campbell said on scene that he was not sure of the driver's condition but said it was a "serious situation."
The small brook by Route 202 was flooded by overflow from the nearby river, he said, so the driver was found in three feet of water.
Campbell did not know the identity of the driver, but said he is a Canadian man who had just left New England Forest Products in Greenfield with pallets full of wood.
The cause of the single vehicle accident is unknown. There are no signs of speed or skid marks indicating the driver was trying to brake.
A state police accident reconstruction team was on its way to study the scene. Over an hour after the crash, the state road remained closed.