MALTA — A crash involving two tractor-trailers that snarled Northway traffic for several hours Wednesday sent three to the hospital, state police said Thursday.
One of the tractor-trailers was being towed and the other was towing a fully-loaded flatbed of wood, troopers said.
An investigation found that the 1990 Ford Heavy Duty tow truck that was towing the tractor-trailer — driven by Jimmy W. Barnes, 72, of Lake George — hit the rear of a 2010 Freightliner transporting the flatbed of wood about noon in the southbound lanes near Exit 13, troopers said. Both vehicles were in the right lane at the time of impact.
Barnes then drove the tow truck off the highway’s west shoulder and hit the guardrail and Jersey barrier, along with the support structure of the state Route 9 overpass; it came to rest blocking the right and middle lanes of traffic, troopers said.
The Freightliner stopped moving a distance down the highway and was disabled, blocking the right lane, troopers said.
Barnes was extricated by responding fire and EMS personnel and taken by ambulance to Albany Medical Center with lacerations to his head and leg, troopers said. A passenger in the tow truck, identified by troopers as a 28-year-old man from Seattle, was sent to Saratoga Hospital for evaluation.
The driver of the Freightliner, identified only as a 28-year-old man from Newark, Del., was also sent to Saratoga Hospital for evaluation, troopers said.
As a result of the crash, diesel fuel from the tow truck spilled on the highway. The fuel’s cleanup, along with clearing vehicle parts and other debris, lasted several hours, keeping the right and center lanes closed well into the late afternoon, troopers said.
The investigation is ongoing and no tickets have been issued at this time.