CHENANGO BRIDGE, N.Y (WIVT) – Hundreds of homes and businesses were evacuated in Hillcrest and Chenango Bridge early this morning following the crash of a tractor-trailer hauling compressed natural gas.
The accident occurred slightly before 1 A-M this morning near exit 2 on Interstate 88 in the Town of Fenton.
The Broome County Sheriff’s Office says 52-year-old Jeffrey Lind of Hallstead, Pennsylvania was driving a truck owned by Xpress Natural Gas of Montrose when he swerved to avoid a deer.
Lind’s truck struck the concrete barrier in the center of the highway and flipped onto its side.
Lind died in the crash.
One of 4 tanks filled with compressed methane gas was damaged and some of the gas was released into the air.
That prompted authorities to evacuate all buildings within a quarter-mile radius of the scene.
And NYSEG cut power to roughly 200 addresses.
Interstate 88 was closed in both directions with eastbound traffic routed through Greene and westbound being detoured through Windsor.
Both the Chenango Valley and Chenango Forks school districts closed for the day.
As of news time, the evacuation order had been lifted and NYSEG was working to restore power while the Department of Transportation works to reopen the highway.