I was in West Springfield, and managed to get a look across the river, at the wreckage of a fuel-carrying tractor trailer accident early this morning. The tanker had ruptured and ignited, sending smoke and flames 400 feet high, according to some other people who had been watching. By the time I got there the flames had been subdued, but still burned at the bottom of the hill where the tanker-half of the truck came to rest.
The accident apparently was triggered by a car coming off the 391 exit and entering 91. It collided with two other cars, and the tractor trailer lost control trying to avoid them. The truck cab got hung up on the guard rail and it's fuel ignited, while the tanker part went over the edge and down the hill, igniting also. The tanker was carrying 9600 gallons of gasoline and 1000 gallons of diesel. What a mess.
State troopers and other motorists heroically helped douse the flames on the truck driver, who had escaped from the truck cab and run across the burning diesel to save his life. He was seriously hurt though, and went to the hospital, along with the passenger of the vehicle coming off 391. Amazingly no one else was hurt.
The 'Chicoppee Curve', as it's known, is notorious for accidents. Particularly truck rollovers, with several occurring there per year. (usually seems to be on a Friday too, for some reason). It's simply too sharp a curve for highway speeds. If your not used to it, or not paying attention, it can take you by surprise. Add an entrance ramp right at the end of that curve, and there's your recipe for disaster.
Under The Bridge
On a lighter note, when I was taking those pictures, I noticed some interesting graffiti under the highway bridge (if it qualifies as graffiti.)...
Looks like the Lollipop Gang was here...