Salt-hauling truck wrecked in slide off Rt. 97
Story by Dan Hust
COCHECTON February 12, 2013 A truck driver was lucky to be alive yesterday after his tractor-trailer slid off an icy Route 97 in Cochecton and plunged more than 50 feet down an embankment.
Around 9:30 a.m., Lake Huntington and Callicoon fire departments, plus the Cochecton Ambulance Corps and MobileMedic and State Police, were called out to the intersection of 97 and County Route 114 along the Delaware River.
Freezing rain that morning had made the roads treacherous, and responders arrived to discover the mangled truck caught in some trees between 97 and the railroad tracks below.
Reportedly having just delivered a load of salt in Narrowsburg, the truck was northbound and apparently slid sideways through the guardrail as it was coming around one of 97’s biggest curves, quickly tumbling down the forested hill.
Official information was unavailable at press time yesterday, but according to eyewitnesses, the driver, named Roger, only had a visible injury above his eye.
Nevertheless, three Good Samaritans who came across the accident got him out of the truck in case it slid further down the steep hill and held him motionless until emergency workers could arrive.
Firefighters put the driver on a backboard, then carefully hauled him up the slope to MobileMedic’s waiting ambulance.
He was transported to Catskill Regional Medical Center, where MobileMedic CEO Albee Bockman said he was treated for minor injuries.
The county’s public safety commissioner, Dick Martinkovic, said that was the worst of several accidents likely caused by the slick conditions yesterday morning.
“We were lucky,” he affirmed. “There were some fender-benders, but nothing major.”