Tractor trailer tears out large stretch of guardrails on Interstate 91 in North Hartland

Small amount of diesel fuel leaked near river

NORTH HARTLAND - A tractor trailer was totaled and several hundred feet of guardrail were ripped out Tuesday morning on a stretch of Interstate 91 that spans the Ottauquechee River in North Hartland.

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    Vermont State Police Trooper Steven Cuttita reported that shortly after 6 a.m. truck driver Arcot Smith, 38, of Bloomfield, Connecticut drove off the eastern edge of I-91's northbound lane and struck the guardrail near Mile Marker 66.

    "Once contact was made, Smith was unable to steer the truck off the guardrail (so) the vehicle damaged a large section of guardrail on the bridge over the Ottauquechee River," before it came to a stop with the cab of the 18-wheeler dangling about halfway over the side of the bridge, Cuttita recalled.

    Hartland and Hartford firefighters responded to the scene to help get Smith, who was not hurt, safely out of the large 2008 Kenworth which was owned by RED Technologies.

Fuel-absorbing booms were placed on the riverbank beneath where the truck had been dangling

    "The truck's fuel tank was ruptured and a small amount of fuel did leak but was contained by the fire department," Cuttita reported, adding, "Interstate 91 North was reduced to a single lane with brief periods of closure during the recovery process."

    Crews from Vermont's Agency of Transportation were putting down concrete Jersey barriers on Tuesday afternoon and that stretch of I-91 before Miller Hill will be reduced to a single lane for an extended period of time while repairs are made to the guardrails.  

Vermont News can be contacted at


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