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4 workers injured in tractor-trailer crash

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    Contributed photo The driver of the tractor-trailer was ticketed Tuesday after violating the state’s move-over law, police said. Four highway maintenance workers and the tractor-trailer driver were injured in the crash.
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    Contributed photoA investigation revealed a tractor-trailer crashed into a work zone on Interstate 90 in Canaan on Tuesday, injuring five people including the driver of the tractor-trailer.
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    Contributed photo A state Thruway Authority dump truck was damaged when a tractor-trailer crossed into a work zone on Tuesday on Interstate 90 in Canaan.
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    Contributed photo Skid marks show a tractor-trailer attempted to brake after a it veered off the road and into the left lane of Interstate 90 in Canaan.
March 27, 2019 04:23 pm

CANAAN — Four highway workers, including one from Hudson and another from Ghent, were injured after a tractor-trailer crashed through a work zone late Tuesday morning, police said.

The crash occurred at about 10:40 a.m. at mile marker 23.4 westbound lane of the Berkshire Spur of I-90, according to New York State Police.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Sergio Cojocaru, 48, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was ticketed for violating the move-over law and several other vehicle and traffic violations, police said. He was taken to Albany Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Highway maintenance workers Lukas Poucher, 29, of Ghent; Jeremiah Case, 40, of Hudson; Brian Toniatti, 40, of Poestenkill; and Timothy J. Blake, 40, of Nassau; who work for the state Thruway Authority, were taken to Albany Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

It’s unclear why Cojocaru allegedly crossed into the work zone. State police spokeswoman Trooper Tara McCormick did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

Cojocaru was driving west and moved from his lane into a work zone, striking a Thruway dump truck with an automated sign directing motorists to move to the right lane and injuring two Thruway maintenance workers, according to state police.

The tractor-trailer went on to strike a second Thruway dump truck hauling a tar trailer, which injured two more Thruway workers. The tractor-trailer came to rest after hitting the guardrail in the highway median.

“Always keep in mind that construction zones can be busy places with people and equipment on the move,” according to a statement on the state Thruway Authority’s website. “Work is routinely performed very close to passing traffic. Drifting from the lane, even for a split second, could be dangerous.”

The left lane of I-90 was closed Tuesday while maintenance workers resealed the pavement, according to a statement from the state Thruway Authority.

The move-over law also applies to highway maintenance workers. The following is a list of driver safety tips, according to the state Thruway Authority:

• Slow down and move over upon seeing lights vests, or reflectors. Be sure to slow down and check traffic around you to make sure it is safe to move over.

• Drivers must use care when approaching an emergency or hazard vehicle, including police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, construction and maintenance vehicles and tow trucks.

• The move-over law applies to both sides of the roadway — not just the shoulder on the right.

“Travelers should be prepared to reduce speeds and drive alert when passing through construction zones,” according to the state Thruway Authority’s website. “Recognizing and understanding the orange-and-black signs found in construction zones is essential to a safe trip.”

A ticket against a driver who fails to move over can result in three points on his driver’s license and a fine up to $275.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.