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May 13, 2013

Several serious crashes over weekend

In a period of just under 24 hours, state police responded to two crashes that brought traffic to a halt Saturday night and last night on parts of Interstate 495.

At about 6 p.m. yesterday, a tractor-trailer truck transporting food products for 7-Eleven in the traveling lane of I-495 North rolled over into the median in Merrimac, closing off traffic for nearly three hours.

John Baxter, 64, of Plainville, who was driving the 2013 tractor trailer owned by Minuteman, was transported to Anna Jaques Hospital for treatment of possible injuries, according to Lt. Daniel Richard, a spokesman for the state police.

None of the food products in the truck left their containers, so there was no spillage, according to Lt. Richard.

Trooper Matt Lavita of the State Police barracks in Newbury is in charge of the investigation, assisted by members of the State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section.

Police advised drivers to take alternate routes home and to avoid the area of I-495 North, south of Broad Street as they investigated the accident. The highway reopened at about 9 p.m. after a tow truck hauled away the tractor-trailer.

Two area men suffered injuries initially described as “serious” in a Saturday roll-over night crash shortly after 6 p.m. on I-495 South in Merrimac.

Shannon J. Sirois, 36, of Andover, the driver of the 2007 Mazda A6, was transported to Lawrence General Hospital and then later Beth Israel Hospital. His passenger, Shane C. Chunilal, 38, of Methuen, was taken to Lawrence General Hospital, according to Lt. Richard

“Both men suffered non-life-threatening injuries,” Richard said.

State police requested a medical helicopter. But the request was cancelled because of the rainy weather, police said.

Traffic on both sides of the highway was affected for about two hours, mostly in the southbound lanes. One person was ejected from the car during the accident while the other was trapped inside the vehicle. Initially, police worried about a possible fire, which later turned out to be smoke coming from the engine of the wreckage.

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