Truck carrying bourbon hits Hutch overpass

The accident closed lanes for most of the morning.

Commuters caught in a traffic standstill watched as crews carefully moved pallets of bourbon from a truck that struck a Hutchinson River Parkway overpass in Rye Brook Friday morning.

The truck was headed north on the parkway at 5:30 a.m. when it struck the overpass at King Street, at Exit 30.

The collision tore the roof off the truck, which is owned by a company called Western Express and was carrying cases of whiskey. Video from News12 shows the peeled metal after it was moved to the side of the road, ribboned like an accordion by the force of the strike.

Typically, police deflate the tires of tractor-trailers that become wedged into low overpasses, giving them enough headroom to move the trucks.

On July 4, a tractor-trailer struck the Weaver Street Bridge over the Hutchinson River Parkway in Scarsdale. Southbound lanes were closed for hours after the collision.

The King Street Bridge is the site of about half a dozen truck strikes each year. Friday's strike didn't spill a drop of whiskey onto the road, but a September 2009 collision at the same bridge spilled hundreds of onions onto the northbound lanes of the Hutch.

It is illegal for truck drivers to take the Hutch, which is reserved for noncommercial traffic. The driver of the truck in Friday's crash could face penalties, and the truck company will be required to reimburse county police for time and resources spent clearing the crash scene, News12 reported.

But not every bridge collision is the result of a driver deciding to risk the parkway to get to their destination more quickly. Sometimes, they're led astray by technology.

"Most of the time, it's GPS," Glenn Pantore of Safeway Towing told News12 Friday as a forklift moved pallets of whiskey off the road.

Truck drivers using common GPS devices may not realize they're turning onto restricted roads. Companies like Garmin and Magellan make GPS devices specifically for truck drivers, with data that helps them avoid restricted highways and low bridges.

Both Hutch lanes were opened by 7:30 a.m. Friday, and traffic returned to normal for the morning rush hour.

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