By Douglas Moser
---- — METHUEN — The driver of a tractor trailer suffered minor injuries in a rollover crash early yesterday morning on Interstate 93 southbound near the New Hampshire border.
The crash, at about 4:40 a.m., did not have a significant impact on rush hour traffic, Massachusetts State Police said, though removal of the truck waited until after the morning commute so the right-hand lane could remain open.
“The truck was off to the side of the road. We initially closed the right lane to assist with the investigation but reopened it by 6:05 a.m.,” said State Police spokesman David Procopio. “We made a decision to leave the truck where it was until after the morning commute so as not to impact traffic. We did not have to close any lanes; there was a slight delay to passing traffic because of the curiosity factor, but that was it. We uprighted the truck and removed it after the morning rush.”
Methuen Fire Department Deputy Dennis Fragala said rescuers transported the driver to Holy Family Hospital with minor injuries.
Procopio said the driver was a 56-year-old man from Manchester, N.H.
At 4:42 a.m., the State Police Andover barracks received multiple calls reporting a tractor-trailer on its side on I-93 southbound in Methuen, north of the Pelham Street-Route 213 exit and just south of the New Hampshire state line, according to police.
One of the truck’s gas tanks ruptured in the crash, Procopio said, and the Department of Environmental Protection responded to clean up the leak.
A wetlands and bird sanctuary lies beside the interstate and Route 213, Fragala said, adding Methuen fire assisted with the cleanup.
The truck was a 2006 Freightliner CL120, owned by Straight Line Leasing Inc. of Derry, N.H., and was hauling a trailer that contained a non-hazardous load of plastic goods.
Shortly after the tractor trailer crash, a second vehicle, a 2008 Nissan Sentra operated by an 18-year-old Methuen woman, struck some of the debris from the tractor-trailer, Procopio said. The woman was not injured, but the Nissan had to be towed.
State Police at the Andover Barracks and the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section are investigating the cause of the crash.
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