PHOTOS: Asphalt truck rollover shuts down I-91 northbound Friday
Driver lost control and overcompensated according to investigators
WILDER - A dump truck carrying asphalt overturned on I-91 between Exits 12 and 13 on Friday morning, shutting down the northbound lanes of the highway for nearly six hours while crews cleaned up the mess.
Driver Jeffrey Lyndes, 52, of White River Junction sustained head injuries in the mishap but was talking to first responders at the scene and walked himself to a waiting ambulance to be taken to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment, witnesses said.
The accident occurred at 10:30 a.m. just over the crest of the hill where the Chandler Road overpass crosses the interstate and it was clear from tire marks that Lyndes had left skid marks that reached over the `rumble strip' off the right-hand side of the travel lane at which point the marks shifted sharply back to the left and crossed both lanes to a point where the spinning dump truck slung its entire load of asphalt out across the grassy median before the truck slid backwards down the hill, rebounded off the right-hand guardrails and finally came to a stop on its side nearly blocking both northbound lanes.
"From the start of the first set of marks to the finish where the truck came to rest was 712 feet," noted Vermont State Police Sgt. Eric Hudson who assisted a Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles inspector with the accident investigation. In a press release issued later on Friday, Sgt. Hudson said that it appeared that "as the vehicle swerved, Lyndes entered into a series of over-corrections which resulted in the truck flipping over."
The truck's owner, Dana Whitney of Landmark Property & Maintenance, said the 2015 Mack dump truck was purchased this spring and Lyndes has over two decades of experience as a driver so it was unclear as to why the accident occurred in broad daylight under seemingly ideal conditions. Landmark was working as a subcontractor for Pike Industries and Lyndes was driving the load of rough (not liquid) asphalt to a large highway refurbishing project that Pike currently has underway in Thetford, Whitney explained.
A small amount of diesel fuel spilled on to the pavement but all of it was contained on top of the highway by Vermont Agency of Transportation workers and Hartford firefighters who used spill pads and other equipment to keep it from reaching any drainage points. A crew from Sabil & Sons heavy wrecker service in White River Junction pumped off the remaining diesel and hydraulic fluid from the truck before turning it upright and towing it away.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation.