Tractor-trailer crashes continue to raise safety concerns on western Massachusetts highways

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In less than a two-hour period Wednesday morning, two rollover crashes involving tractor-trailers occurred on western Massachusetts highways, creating a nightmare for most morning commuters. 

Now, there are serious questions about driving safety. One of the rollovers left a man with serious injuries. One truck driver 22News spoke with said anytime he gets behind the wheel it’s all about safety. 

Traffic came to a standstill for hours, after a tractor-trailer rolled over on I-91 South in Holyoke during the early morning commute, sending a driver to the hospital with serious injuries. A short while a later, another truck rolled over on I-291 westbound in Springfield, no injuries were reported. 

But, the two accidents serve as a reminder that driving big rig trucks can be extremely dangerous. 

“It’s slow to move off and very hard to stop,” said Dwight McKenzie, a truck driver. “It’s 80,000 pounds, the average car is about 2,000 pounds so that’s a big weight difference, so we need that extra stopping distance.” 

It’s also a federal law that truck drivers can only drive up to 11 hours during a 14-hour shift. Following those 14 hours operating a big rig, drivers must be off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. 

McKenzie added, “We are all out on the road and we all have places to be but just be safe.” 

The accident on 91 South in Holyoke wasn’t clear until Wednesday night, as crews had to transfer lumber from the tractor-trailer involved to another.  

There were significant delays throughout the entire day. 

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