BOSTON (CBS) – Crews continued to make repairs through the day on the exit 10 off ramp on the Southeast Expressway where an 18-wheel tractor trailer crashed around 1:30 a.m., the sound ringing through the Milton neighborhood.
“It was pretty scary, my wife and kids were shaken. It was a big boom in the middle of the night,” said Glenn Hoffman.
Police say 43-year-old Eri Pleitez of Lynn was drunk behind the wheel of the big rig that was carrying 38,000 pounds of Wisconsin cheese to a facility in Assonet. He hit a wall, taking down power lines along the way, and ended up on his right side. It brought the expressway to a standstill.
“It went up on the wall and it just flipped over. It’s a good thing the wall stopped him. If he came this way he’d demolish the house,” said nearby resident Roger Killalea.
Prosecutors say Pleitez told troopers he had six beers at a friend’s birthday party in Chelsea, and while defense attorney John Stevens says he admits he had something to drink “his last beer was consumed three hours earlier.”
Pleitez says he was cut off by a black pickup truck that forced him up the ramp, but troopers say he failed field sobriety tests and had a blood alcohol level of .11.
Friends are defending the married father of three who’s a self employed truck driver with no previous record. “He’s just a really nice guy, a good father, someone hit him,” said friend Jo Dellamano.
Pleitez has made bail that was set at $2500.