Crash snarls Route 4 traffic

B y Matthew Rice

 

A collision between a car transporter loaded with new vehicles bound for Ross Chevrolet in Whitehall and an out-of-state minivan injured three and tied up traffic for much of the afternoon as the resulting crash sent vehicles flying along the shoulder of Route 4 Thursday morning.

State Police said the two vehicles, a car carrier driven by Allan E. Kulka, 36, ofGlens Falls, and a black Nissan Quest minivan driven by Richard E. Briggs II, 46, of Rumson, N.J., occurred when the tractor trailer crossed the center line and traveled well into the opposite lane striking the van when the van’s driver was unable to avoid the collision.

Briggs told police he was traveling south when the vehicles collided about four miles outside ofWhitehall.

Briggs reported driving as far to the shoulder of the road as he could, police said, but was still struck by the car carrier near the rear end of the vehicle rolling it over and into the ditch.

It was not immediately clear why Kulka left his lane.

Alcohol did not appear to be a factor and Kulka toldEMSworkers he was not diabetic, Police said.

The crash remained under investigation Thursday and police at the scene said they could not comment at the time on whether Kulka had fallen asleep at the wheel. 

Police said the car carrier continued to veer out of the northbound lane, leaving the roadway and crashing, causing the trailer to jackknife and roll firing cars and pickup trucks off of the trailer along the side of the road as well as into a nearby swamp.  

A passenger in the minivan was Richard E. Briggs, 72, ofChevy Chase,Md.

Both men from the minivan were transported toGlens FallsHospitalby ambulance with minor injuries and were expected to be released from the hospital later in the day.

Due to a reported neck injury, Kulka was taken by med-flight helicopter toAlbanyMedicalCenterfrom a landing zone at Great Meadow Prison in Comstock.

The crash occurred directly across the road from the house of Whitehall Times outdoor columnist Gene Terry and his wifeDixie.

Terry said he heard the crash which was possibly the two vehicles colliding, glanced outside and “immediately called 911.”

Police said they determined Kulka was at fault and would be charged with driving left of pavement markings.

State Police, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, emergency squad personnel fromFortAnnandWhitehallalong withWhitehallandFortAnnfire fighters responded to the scene of the10:15 a.m.crash.

As the car carrier left the road the cab knocked over trees and bushes tearing up the roadside before coming to rest, upright, but facing perpendicular to the lanes of travel well off the road surface with one vehicle still attached behind it.

The trailer jackknifed spilling vehicles onto the roadway as well as sending two flying off of the carrier. Much of the delay in reopening the road was due to removal of the wreckage of the car carrier and the seven vehicles it was carrying. A small fleet of wreckers responded to the scene along with numerous flat bed trucks to remove the heavily damaged vehicles.

A gold-colored car and pickup of the same color came to rest in a low-lying, swampy area, both more than 20 feet north of the trailer; two vehicles remained trapped inside the car carrier trailer. Heavily damaged during their removal from the side of the road were a black pickup and SUV; police said all of the vehicles were likely totaled.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Fire Co. renews search for lost horn

By Dan King Thirty years ago a silver plated presentation horn was stolen from the Whitehall Fire Company and the […]

Town finalizes speed reduction proposal

By Dan King Back in July, the Town of Whitehall drafted a proposal to reduce the speed limits of a […]

Officials weight safety vs. freedom of Amish

By Dan King Just when it seemed that all discrepancies and arguments about how to handle Whitehall’s growing Amish population […]

Superintendent upset with test scores

Whitehall Central School District Superintendent Elizabeth Legault has been analyzing data and researching educational policy in an attempt to turn […]

Enerjazz to conclude concert series

Whitehall’s summer concert series will be coming to a close on Friday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. and to say […]

Cheerleading made an official sport

By Dan King After years of being a club sport and funding all expenditures on their own, Whitehall cheerleaders have […]

State says their own building has code violations

By Dan King New York State Canal Corporation recently stopped by the new location for Friends of the Washington County […]

Storefront undergoes rebirth

A storefront that has stood on West Main Street for more than 100 years has been given new life. When […]

W. Pawlet auction Thursday

The West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department will host its annual auction this evening at the West Pawlet Firehouse, Route 153, […]

State orders town to monitor former landfill

The state has threatened to take legal action against the town if it doesn’t begin submitting monitoring reports of groundwater […]

Silitch named Alumni of Year

A North Granville resident has been named Alumni of the Year at a college recently ranked among the top 100 […]

Hebron family to perform in Salem

A year after their joyful performance for a packed house last summer at the South Granville Congregational Church, the seven […]