Southbound lanes will be shut down until at least 3 a.m.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - One tractor trailer jack-knifed and another came around the corner and cut right straight through it, separating the tractor cab from the trailer and throwing both onto their sides just north of the Long Bridges that span the White River.
The 8:30 p.m. mishap left giant rolls of newsprint scattered amongst the snowy wreckage and forced the complete closure of the southbound lanes of I-91 between Exit 12 in Wilder and the Long Bridges.
The driver of the 18-wheeler that jack-knifed was transported to the hospital with what were believed to be minor injuries.
The other truck continued skidding on for about four tractor-trailer lengths before coming to a halt just a few yards from the bridge deck with its cab front smashed in and structural damage all along the length of the trailer but the driver of that truck was not hurt.
The truck that smashed its way through the jack-knifed truck sustained heavy front end damage
A fire engine provided lights as wrecker crews began sawing apart the twisted box truck
Heavy wrecker crews from Sabil & Sons were on the scene within an hour working to clear the tangle of wreckage and initial estimates were that the stretch of highway would be reopened around 3 a.m. on Thursday. A half-dozen other tractor trailers, including a couple belonging to UPS, were stranded by the incident on the downhill curves between the sheer rock ledges leading to the bridge.
Hartford Fire Captain Chris Dube kept an eye on the scene overnight
Shortly before midnight, while state troopers and Hartford Police officers were still dealing with the Long Bridges crash another tractor trailer slid off of a nearby section of Interstate 89 in Quechee just a mile or two from the first scene as the crow flies. The cab of that truck stayed on the interstate, blocking one of the southbound lanes, while the trailer slid over into a ditch. Since the highway was passable the decision was made to leave it until daylight on Thursday when conditions were expected to be more amenable to removing it.
Hartford Police Officer Randy St. Peter laid flares out across the Exit 12 on-ramp to warn away motorists
Heavy rolls of newsprint were scattered around the highway
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