EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 14, 2013

Truck driver's legs crushed beneath tires at MBTA work site

Worker attaching heavy equipment trailer when vehicle moved

ANDOVER — A truck weighing almost 140,000 pounds, slid or rolled backwards and crushed the legs of a worker beneath its rear tires at a commuter rail work site yesterday.

The man, believed to be in his mid-40s, works for J.F. White Contracting Co., of Framingham, which is doing work on commuter rail tracks, rehabilitating the Shawsheen River bridges off Lupine Road, according to the MBTA Web site.

The worker was trying to attach a heavy equipment trailer to the truck.

At around 11:38 a.m., said Fire Chief Michael Mansfield, a 911 call came in about the accident.

Police and firefighters arrived to find that the man was pinned beneath and between two of the rear tires on the left side of the tractor-trailer unit.

The trailer was carrying an earth-mover. The piece of equipment was a Caterpillar 330D and low-drill attachment that was being taken to another construction site two miles away, according to a press release issued yesterday afternoon by Mansfield.

While connecting the trailer to the tractor, the truck operator’s lower extremities became pinned under the rear wheels of the tractor, Mansfield said. The total weight of the vehicle is estimated at 138,000 pounds.

Andover Police Lt. James Hashem said the man suffered “a severe crushing injury to his lower extremities.” He said the man’s identity was being withheld pending notification of his family.

Mansfield said that while the man suffered “life-threatening injuries” he was conscious and alert when he was taken from the scene by Andover Fire Rescue personnel and Lawrence General Hospital paramedics. He was flown to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston via Med-Flight, which landed in the parking lot of Hewlett-Packard off Dascomb Road. His condition was not available yesterday afternoon.

Mansfield said it took about 25 minutes to extricate the victim. He said firefighters used rescue air bags to lift the tractor-trailer and machinery off the patient.

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