SOUTHINGTON — The driver of a tractor-trailer was cited after police said he struck multiple vehicles that were stopped for construction on Interstate 84 east by exit 28 on Wednesday.
Benjamin Howell, 74, of 2264 Indian Ridge Rd., Stuarts Draft, Virginia, was cited for traveling too close resulting in a collision, state police said Thursday.
The crash was reported around 1:48 p.m. on I-84 east between exits 28 and 30.
State police said four vehicles were stopped in the right lane due to highway construction. Howell struck the fourth car in line, state police said, then the third and second cars in line, then struck a road barrier on the right shoulder, state police said.
The second car was pushed into the first car in line. The initial impact caused the fourth car to be sent into the road barrier and sent the third car into the median barrier. The third vehicle’s spare tire came off and struck a sixth vehicle as it passed on the left, state police said.
Firefighter Rick Molleur, who was not on scene, said crews had to extricate one person from a car, which took about 16 minutes from the time of the initial call. Molleur said the crew was able to get that victim to the hospital and in front of a doctor within the “golden hour,” a timeframe established as an industry standard.
Accessing crash scenes on the highway through heavy traffic can be a challenge for firefighters, Molleur said.
Once on scene, Molleur said they use their trucks to block lanes allowing emergency personnel to work safely.
Shutting down the highway as they did in Wednesday’s incident creates the safest environment, though Molleur added that fire crews are mindful of the inconvienence shutting down a major highway causes, and work quickly to at least reopen one or two lanes.