Overturned truck closes Route 11 for five hours

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2014 The Chester Telegraph

A clickable photo gallery follows the story.


tractor-trailer carrying a load of 2 by 4 lumber west on Route 11 left the pavement yesterday, spilling its cargo and closing the road from Church Street to Andover Road in Chester for about five hours in the afternoon.

John Martens, who lives on Route 11 west, near the site of the accident, witnessed the crash. According to Martens, at about 8:15 a.m. he was heading toward Chester when he saw a truck approach, sliding into the ditch. Martens said he was concerned that if the driver pulled back onto the road, the truck would cross into his lane. “He was from here to that stone away from us,” Martens said, referring to a point about 75 feet away. “I wondered what would happen if he got it back, but then he went over” into the ditch.

Chester Police Chief Richard Cloud doubted that excessive speed caused the crash, noting that it looked like the driver had lost control in the curve, possibly the result of a momentary lapse in attention. The driver was not injured.

Reed Truck Services of Claremont, N.H., was called to the scene to right the vehicle, then crews picked up lumber, transferring it to trucks and hauling it away. According to Scott Reed, his recovery crews were called out between 9:30 and 10 a.m. The crew used “catch bags”  — air cushions that minimize the damage to a truck when it is righted. “They take the shock off the truck when you can’t get on the other side of it to slow it down,” said Reed, noting that the recovery would have taken longer without the bags since the crew would have had to rig cables to trees up hill from the crash.

This is at least the fourth time in less than six months that Route 11 west in Chester has been closed. Within two weeks of each other in May, the fire at Field Farm on Blue Hill Road and the P&H gasoline tanker rollover occurred. And at the end of July, flooding closed the road from Church Street in Chester to Middletown Road in Andover.

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