By Mark E. Vogler
---- — 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.
Troopers out of the State Police barrack in Newbury along with Amesbury and Merrimac Fire Departments responded ot the scene
State police crime service and the collision analysis and reconstruction section investigated the crash. Trooper Joseph Hickey out of State Police barracks in Newbury was heading up the investigation.
New Hampshire State Police continued to investigate a Saturday night crash involving a Subaru Impreza and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle which left a Newton, N.H. man seriously injured.
John Berrini, 55, was being treated at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston for serious injuries, according to New Hampshire State Police.
The crash occurred shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday on Route 107 westbound by Spur Road.
Both vehicles were traveling westbound when the motorcycle rear ended the Subaru, driven by Gardner Johnson, 26 of Danville, N.H., according to state police.
Johnson and a passenger in the Subaru weren’t injured. The NH State Police Technical Accident Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene to investigate the crash. Police haven’t determined a cause yet. The Seabrook Police Department is assisting.