Update: June 30, 2011 11:08 a.m.: Police have released the name of the victims. The driver David Belair, 54, from Salem died in the accident and the passenger Raymond Harriston, 33, of Lynn, was injured.
Fire Chief Craig Pedercini said the bags of stearic acid are non-toxic.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — One person died after a tractor-trailer crashed into the woods behind the A-Frame Bakery Wednesday on Cold Spring Road.
The truck was traveling down Route 2 (Taconic Trail) and continued straight through the intersection, breaking through concrete barriers and crashing into the brook behind the bakery, according to Fire Chief Craig Pedercini.
The truck was carrying 44,000 pounds of stearic acid in bags that blew out the front of the truck and scattered into the woods.
"It looks like he went in a straight line and continued on," Pedercini said.
The accident was reported at 8:01 a.m. and first responders extricated the survivor, who was taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield with non-life-threatening injuries, he said.
It is unclear if the deceased was the driver or the passenger and police have not released the vehicle occupants' names.
The 65-foot box truck does not appear to have used its brakes. There are no skid marks and the truck was going fast enough to push the large barrier into the woods. Police have not completed an investigation and could not give a cause for the collision.
The stearic acid is non-hazardous but the fire department took precautions and decontaminated the injured person as well as the ambulance crew. A team of construction workers, working at a site on Route 2, was also decontaminated after they saw the truck crash and walked to the scene, Pedercini said.
A hazmat team from Pittsfield remained on scene for technical support, Pedercini said, and a cleanup company was expected to arrive in the afternoon.
"A lot of the product is still in bags," Pedercini said. "It appears everything went over the top of the river. A minimal amount went into the river."
That intersection has seen multiple accidents and a runaway ramp was recently added.
"We've had our share of accidents here but that is why the state put the ramp there," Pedercini said. "I don't know if they were aware of it or not."
The scene was blocked off but the roads remained open.
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If the brakes had failed, the two would of been looking for a safety ramp(most truck drivers know about truck ramps)and unless there was other problems, they would of used the ramp.It sounds like a health or attention issue, to me.
Hopefully the persons that were authorized to handle this tragedy will not post on-scene pictures on department websites, Facebook, or any other social media sites out of complete respect to the families that are sadly affected by this misfortune.
Ive been driving big truck for 30 years and my opionion is that this guy lost his brakes way up the mountian.So before you get goin to fast you head for the tree line or rock ledge what ever may bee and make your own ramp wile ur going slow.He just kept picking speed up and never hit the ramp at the bottom for runnaway trucks.Can't wait to see what lanquage he spoke and how long hes been driving.He shure was lucky no school busses were goin by.
Three tenths of a mile before the bottom of the hill, this truck had to have negotiated an active one-lane, traffic signal controlled construction zone. And by 8am the work crew was in full swing. Did it pass through here at high speed with no brakes (yikes!), or did it lose brakes and gain all that speed in the last quarter mile (hard to believe)?
Something to think about before we accuse him of a variety of mistakes...he may have had a heart attack, or various other health related issues, possibly the passenger was asleep as well. Just something else besides the negative, it is tragic enough a man died, it is blessing enough no other vehicles, or pedestrians or bakery personnel were hurt.
What is wrong with you people!!!! You can't wait to see what language he spoke!!!!! ENGLISH!!!! This is my best friends father have some respect! He is American born and raised, but does that matter..... He died and he was a great man, father,grandfather and husband! I can not believe people! How about before you know all the facts you keep your comments to your self there are people out there suffering from this!
I understand the truck went through the construction site with brakes afire. If you know RT.2, the escape ramp is not easy to negotiate....since it is hard right located on a hard right hand corner.(making the use of the ramp a risky challenge at speed) My guess is he was aware of the ramp but at speed, was not able to use it without the threat of rolling. The driver did his best on the bottom and proof of this was the fact that his son in law survived. In my eyes, his actions are admiralable. Keep the sarcastic comments to yourselves. (like what language he spoke) Not the place to cast stones! May he rest in peace.
6 people (at this time) disagree regarding the posting of crash/death scene photographs on social media sites taken by persons who are authorized to access the site where the general public is restricted.
It's unfortunate these people abuse their official duties and clearance to utilize cameras to share the images of tragic scenes with friends as a form of entertainment. The documentation of an emergency scene should be carried out only by sanctioned officials from the responding agency for the purposes of any future impending legal proceeding being civil or criminal, or for official departmental use pertaining to training.
Public safety is not a hobby or a place to get away from your day job. Public safety is the profession where one person helps another in their time of need. And when these people receive aid, they and their families should not have to suffer the pain/embarrassment of re-living their tragedy because someone from public safety believed it would be cool to post a picture of the incident with some infantile caption attached to it on the internet. Stay classy public safety, 95% of you do, it's a shame the other 5% doesn't.
Finally, and most importantly, thoughts and prayers to the family of the gentleman who sadly lost his life, may he rest in peace.
First of all, my sincere sympathies to the families involved.
I am just thankful that no one else was hurt or killed. School has only been out for a few days and that would have been a time when students would have been traveling. Route 7 is very busy that time of day with folks going to work in Pittsfield. Again, very, very thankful!
Peter--the blocks are there to protect the lives of the people in the building and on the lawn. The owners of the bakery have 6 children who often play on the lawn right where the truck went. What happened is very unfortunate and tragic, but the Sutters are wonderful people and should not be accused of trying to just protect a lawn.
Regardless of the root cause of the accident, I believe that Petersburg Pass should be closed to tractor trailer traffic until the renovations are completed. Think about it. The construction zone is above the run out ramp. The workers could have been wiped out and certainly any uphill traffic passing in the narrow lane would have no chance to avoid a head on collison with a run-away truck.
I'm the first person to post here, but after reading about some people saying he picked up speed because his brakes had failed,I wanted to say this_ I would always be testing my brakes while going down, and have your vehicle in the LOWEST possible gear so as to slow it down, and when he got it as slow as possible, use the guard rails or ledge, or whatever, to stop it completely.
Andy B.is wondering what language he spoke.
I would like to know what language he himself writes in. If it is English it is hardly recognizable as such. His spelling and grammar is simply atrocious. Go back to school Andy.28Y
Anyone that knows Dave,knows the type of person that he was and knows that when it was happening the only thoughts in his mind was to keep anyone in the area safe above his own life. Check his driving record it was unbelievable. He knew what he was doing when he drove a truck!!! Trucking was one of the loves of his life. He was a proud and generous man that put family and friends first. So for those that haven't thrown stones, I thank you. For those that have, please take a look at your own lives before you do it again. I have always been taught that if you don't know all of the facts, keep your opinions to yourself until you do.
Sorry I just couldnt sit here without saying something any longer.This is my uncle that you people are bashing...He knows how to drive a truck, has been doing it for years. Im sure the reason, wether it be brake failure or medical issues will come out eventually. He was a kind man who would put his own life in jeopardy before those around him so how you people can jump to conclusions just disgusts me. My family has lost a great man before his time so please show some respect. Its amazing how when there is a loss people want to point out the negative without the facts. Enough already. And thank you to all who do see that on here. R.I.P. Uncle David We all miss you.
Well aparently someone out there Knows me and is worried about my spelling and puctuation.Well Geeze if that is all u got to worry about in life u better look at some of the short cut tex messages u get.And tell them aparently thier grammer is off.Anyway I hope u r not the one in the way of the next big truck that comes barrolin down that mntn like a out of control locamotive.I am simply tryin to say when u know there is trouble before you pick up anymore speed (DITCH IT)remember that the next time you cash register craps out and your busy ditch it.3rdpartyro
Well Cabri I guess I just a Dumass truck driver like the rest of them that can't spell or worst of all can't speak our language.But u got to remember one thing if it wasn't for us u wouldn't have a job cause we deliver every thing including ur paycheck in one way or the other.And I'm proud to have 30 professional accident free driving years under my belt!!Beat's your job anyday!!
I grew up with David's children and we all went to school with each others including our siblings. He was a good man and good husband, father, grandfather. He will be missed by all who knew him and had the pleasure of ever meeting him. May he rest in peace and may his family find peace. Mary ,David jr, Dawn and Krystal I'm so sorry for your loss.
A man lost his life in this accident! A family lost their husband, father, uncle, etc. Respect is deserved here! Yes, humans are curious creatures by nature but in the end its about respect.... Thank goodness no one else lost their lives in this tragedy! Rumor has it that there was a construction sign infront of the ramp... rumor has it he didnt have brakes which led to him being in the wrong lane.... WHO CARES! Respect the deceased and his family!
First and foremost for all you ignorant people bashing my father I hope you understand the word karma because you will see it. My Father was not only a great man but he was a respectful truck driver who would never speed. I cant believe you people, you have no idea what we are going through.My father lost his brakes he didnt die from health issuses you people make me sick.If it wasnt for your road he would still be here. I love you Dad and I miss you so much.