By Bill Kirk
---- — MERRIMAC — One person was seriously injured after an accident on 495 North this morning around 5:30 a.m. when a tractor-trailer attempting to take Exit 53 lost control of the vehicle as it was on the ramp and drove into the woods.
The driver was pinned underneath the vehicle and it took rescue workers from Merrimac Fire and EMS an hour-and-a-half to extricate him. He was taken to Lawrence General Hospital at 7:10 a.m. Neither his name nor his condition were available, but he did sustain life-threatening injuries, according to State Police.
Also, a large overhead sign was knocked down, blocking the two travel lanes. Finally, there was a fuel leak created when the truck's diesel tanks were ruptured.
The fuel went into the road and down an embankment. The state Department of Environmental Protection was on-scene throughout the morning and afternoon to clean up the spill.
The accident created a significant traffic jam as the two right lanes of the highway were closed during the rescue effort.
Cleanup of the area continues, as fuel was spilled from the truck's diesel fuel tanks. The far right lane was still closed, as was the ramp to Broad Street. The ramp was scheuilded to be closed most of the day, state police said.
Traffic on I-495 was backed up well into Haverhill as of 9:15 a.m. today.
More on this story later at eagletribune.com and in tomorrow's editions of The Eagle-Tribune.