METHUEN — Adrian Merced and his two brothers were headed home early yesterday when their car almost hit a recently crashed Mercedes on Interstate 495 North.
“We had just left Lawrence General Hospital where we said ‘good-bye’ to our grandmother, who had passed away,” recalled Merced, 24, of Bradford.
“It was really close, we almost ran into the car. We swerved at the last minute and stopped in front of it. We pulled over to see what was going on. Then we noticed a whole section of guard rail taken out, then looked over the ledge and saw this whole tractor trailer — in pieces — all the way down the hill,” he said.
Merced said he and his brothers, Feliciano, 31, and Noberto, 32, expected to find “some dead bodies” amid the wreckage of the Mercedes and the tractor trailer rig that had gone down the embankment.
But state police said nobody was seriously injured in the I-495 accident, which happened around 3 a.m., just north of the exit ramp of Route 213.
State police charged Merecedes driver Lakrisa Jefferson, 28, of Methuen, with operating under the influence of liquor and also cited her for a marked lanes violation in the crash.
Jefferson and the driver of the tractor trailer, John Bacon, 62, of Gorham, Maine, were transported by ambulance to Lawrence General Hospital for treatment of what police described as “non life-threatening injuries.”
State police continued to investigate the crash and released few details about how the Land Air Express of New England tractor trailer careened down the embankment and came to rest on the bottom, next to Merrimack Street (Route 110) in Methuen near the Whirlaway Golf, Running and Sports Center. The cab separated from the box section of the truck. State Trooper Nicole Morrell said Jefferson will be summonsed to court on the criminal charges.