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Overturned truck slows Route 125 traffic

CORNWALL — A tractor-trailer carrying tons of processed whey overturned on Route 125 in Cornwall near the Lemon Fair bridge Monday at around 3:15 p.m. The driver was injured, but not badly, and those driving other vehicles through the scene faced short delays while Cornwall firefighters and other first responders cleaned up the accident site.
 Vermont State Police Trooper Stephen McNamara reported that Richard J. Torres-Franco, 51, of Dunellen, N.J., was driving a 2000 Freightliner tractor-trailer westbound, and, as he attempted to negotiate the curve at Route 125 and West Street, he lost control. The tractor-trailer traveled left of center and overturned in the eastbound lane of Route 125, then slid off the roadway, before coming to rest on the eastbound grass shoulder.
Preliminary investigation indicated that speed was considered to be a factor in the crash, McNamara reported on Monday.
An off-duty Bridport firefighter happened to see the accident happen and had to do some quick maneuvering to avoid an accident himself.
Torres-Franco was out of the vehicle lying on a mattress by the truck when fire department arrived, according to Cornwall Fire Chief Dennis Rheaume. The front end of the tractor was buckled up, the windshield was badly cracked and the contents of the tractor’s sleeper compartment — including the mattress — spilled out on to the ground.
“It was all smashed up,” Rheaume said.
The Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association transported Torres-Franco to Porter Hospital, where he was treated for minor cuts and bruises, and then released. The truck was considered a total loss.
The firefighters’ response was pretty typical.
“The truck was leaking oil so we put some Speedi-Dri on it,” Rheaume said.
He said the truck was coming from AgriMark, where it was loaded with palletized whey. He said it had tipped the scales at 80,000 pounds.
Route 125 was shut down for about 30 minutes while wreckers from Sheldrick’s and Charlebois up-righted the tractor-trailer. The Vermont Agency of Transportation was contacted and responded as a result of damage done to the newly paved road surface when the big truck was being pulled up.
This crash investigation is on going.

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