SALEM, N.H. — A truck driver was evacuated via helicopter following a collision between two commercial vehicles on Interstate 93 Wednesday afternoon.
At around 1:20 p.m., a landscaping truck towing a wood chipper experienced a mechanical failure, quickly decelerating. The driver, 42-year-old Chaka Puckerin of Lowell, attempted to pull the vehicle into the breakdown lane, but was struck from behind by a box truck, according to a release by New Hampshire State Police.
Salem firefighters and New Hampshire State Police Troops B and G responded to the accident, which occurred just north of Exit 1. State police said the landscaping vehicle hurtled over the guardrail and into the sound barrier on the right side of the highway.
Driver Luis Oscar Ruiz, 45, of Central Falls, Rhode Island, was trapped inside the 2013 HINO box truck until Salem firefighters rescued him. The truck suffered serious front end damage, state police said.
The entire southbound portion of the interstate in Salem was shut down for about 40 minutes, while a Medivac helicopter retrieved Ruiz from the scene, Salem Fire Chief Tim Kenney said. Ruiz was transported to Mass General Hospital with serious injuries, according to the state police.
As of Thursday morning, the Salem Fire Department had no updates on Ruiz's condition, Kenney said.
Puckerin was brought to the Holy Family Hospital with injuries that were not serious.
Nicole DeFeudis: @Nicole_DeFeudis on Twitter