LONDONDERRY, N.H. (CBS) – The driver of a tractor trailer fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into construction vehicles on Interstate 93 on Friday morning.
And while no injuries were reported, police and fire officials say the crash outcome could have been a lot worse.
“A couple of feet one way or the other and it could have been multiple fatalities,” said Londonderry Fire Battalion Chief Jim Roger.
Brian Bauchman responded to tow the mangled truck away. He says about a half-dozen workers were in its path, and miraculously survived uninjured.
“They just ran out of the way. They ran out of the way and they were very lucky,” Bauchman said.
The workers were visibly shaken after the crash, fire officials said.
The construction vehicles were part of the I-93 improvement project, said Bill Boynton of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. The workers are from a private construction company, and not state transportation workers, he said.
State police and fire crews responded to the crash just north of Exit 4 in the northbound lane of I-93 around 7 a.m.
An investigation found that a 2002 International Tractor Trailer unit, driven by Efrain Rodriguez, 30, of Hartford, Connecticut, was traveling northbound on I-93 when Rodriguez lost control of his vehicle and entered the center median, and struck a parked dump truck and another parked car, according to State Police.
“It was determined that Rodriguez had fallen asleep behind the wheel of the tractor trailer unit, resulting in the crash,” State Police said in a statement.
The tractor trailer, which was hauling paint and other construction materials, lost about 125 gallons of diesel fuel, fire officials said. A hazmat team responded to secure potentially hazardous materials from the truck.
Rodriguez was cited for negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
The high speed lane on I-93 north was shut down for several hours after the crash.
New Hampshire State Police are investigating.