PLAINS TWP. —A truck tractor towing a double-decker car carrier with two vehicles crashed down an embankment in the northbound lanes of Interstate 81 on Thursday, sending two men to a hospital.
Rescue crews responded to the crash between Wilkes-Barre Exit 170B and Dupont/Pittston Exit 175 at about 9 a.m. and found the wreckage in a wooded area off Sunset Drive.
Fire Capt. Charles Krommes said the driver of the truck tractor was walking around when rescue crews arrived. A man trapped in the sleeping compartment of the tractor had to be helped out.
Krommes said a mangled door had to be cut before the man was helped out of the truck.
“They were lucky. They suffered non-critical injuries,” Krommes said.
A SUV landed on its wheels about 20 yards from the carrier while another vehicle was up against a tree. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage.
The rig crashed through a guide rail and down an embankment and careened out of control.
It split trees for about 100 yards before it came to a stop. A road sign from the interstate was mixed in with the wreckage.
Sylvester Panateri and other residents of Sunset Drive said it is not unusual to hear truck traffic from the highway. They didn’t realize a truck tractor had crashed until rescue crews arrived.
Falzone’s Towing used two cranes and a large forklift to remove the mangled tractor and car carrier from the woods.
Both northbound lanes of the highway remained open during the emergency.
State police at Wyoming did not release the names of the two men from the rig.