4 killed when 2 vehicles slam into milk truck on I-81 in Oswego County

SANDY CREEK, N.Y. — Photos from a fatal accident on Interstate 81 in Oswego County shortly before midnight Wednesday show just how devastating the crashes were that killed four people.

One vehicle had its roof flattened, while the other vehicle’s front end was crushed.

Both vehicles went underneath a disabled milk tanker that had jack-knifed and came to a stop across both lanes of Interstate 81 north, said Jake Keller, a State Police spokesman.

Four people in the two vehicles that hit the tractor-trailer were killed, State Police said.

Troopers responded to mile marker 126 of I-81 north near Sandy Creek at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.

A driver of a milk tanker, owned my M&T Transportation out of Mannsville, had swerved to avoid hitting some deer in the roadway, Keller said. Troopers do not yet know how many deer the driver may have seen, but he told State Police it was “several,” according to officials.

The tanker driver lost control of the truck, jack-knifing and blocking both lanes of the highway. He was about 10 minutes from his Mannsville destination after having delivered milk to Massachusetts, Keller said.

Two other vehicles headed north crashed into the disabled truck, going underneath it, Keller said. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage,.

Three people killed in one car were from St. Lawrence County. The fourth person killed, who was in the other car, was from out of state, Keller said.

Three people killed in a crash along I-81 near Sandy Creek on July 5, 2017, were from St. Lawrence County. The fourth lived out of state, according to State Police. Their names have not been released.
Three people killed in a crash along I-81 near Sandy Creek on July 5, 2017, were from St. Lawrence County. The fourth lived out of state, according to State Police. Their names have not been released. (New York State Police)

Troopers are still trying to determine if any other factors led up to the crash. Keller said the weather was clear and the roadways were dry. State Police aren’t sure how closely the vehicles may have been to the tanker when it crashed.

Both lanes of Interstate 81 north remained closed from Exit 36 for Pulaski to Exit 37 for Sandy Creek overnight. The highway reopened at about 7 a.m. Thursday, nearly eight hours after the crash.

The names of the four killed will be released after family members have been notified, Keller said.

The three-vehicle crash happened just before midnight when a milk truck crashed because the driver tried to avoid hitting deer.

 

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