BLOOMINGDALE - The driver of a Casella Waste Systems garbage truck was injured Monday morning after his truck crashed off River Road and overturned, pinning him inside the vehicle's cab.
The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. near the entrance to the town of St. Armand transfer station. Police have yet to release the name of the garbage truck's driver or other details about the crash.
Bloomingdale Fire Chief Tim Woodruff, who lives down the street and was one of the first people on the scene, said he heard it happen.
A Bloomingdale firefighter surveys the scene as state troopers examine the wreck of a garbage truck that crashed off of River Road in Bloomingdale and overturned Monday morning.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
"I was at my house; I heard a big boom and the sound of a horn stuck," said Woodruff, who works as a state police investigator. "I came down and Rob Yando, a neighbor, said (the driver is) trapped. I went up and he was pinned in there."
Woodruff said Dr. William Viscardo, who lives right next to where the crash took place, was there before he showed up. Viscardo said he helped provide medical care to the driver until ambulance personnel arrived.
"We heard a crash, a thump and then a horn, and I immediately said, 'I know that's bad. Somebody is slumped over their steering wheel,'" Viscardo said. "I had no idea it was going to be an entire garbage truck with a guy trapped in there upside down, pinned in by the steering wheel."
Ray Brook-based state police, firefighters from the Bloomingdale and Saranac Lake volunteer fire departments and the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad responded to the scene.
Firefighters used the Jaws of Life, a hydraulic rescue tool, to get the driver out of the car, Woodruff said.
"The driver was in there for about 30 minutes," Woodruff said. "While we were trying to extricate him, the paramedics were working on him. He was talking to us and everything. (His injuries) didn't seem to be serious, but we put (North Country) Life Flight on standby in Bloomingdale just in case."
The driver was taken by ambulance to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. His condition couldn't be determined without his name.
The driver crashed into utility lines, causing a power outage for some residents on River Road. A crew from National Grid responded to the scene and was waiting for the truck to be removed. The town of St. Armand Highway Department also provided assistance at the scene.
The road was closed to traffic for several hours as a crew from Madden's Towing and Recovery worked to remove the garbage truck, no small task given its weight. They were still on scene as of 3:30 p.m.
The crash occurred along a straightaway that followed a curve in the road. A long set of skid marks could be seen on the south side of the pavement, leading off the shoulder where the truck's tires left a deep gouge in the dirt.
When the Enterprise was on scene around 10:30 a.m., the garbage truck was sitting parallel to the road and upside down at the edge of the woods. The top of its cab was smashed in, its front windshield was lying in pieces on the ground and the driver's side door had been cut off.
The driver took out at least one large tree, which fell partially into the road before it was removed.
Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.