Minor injury, but major fuel spill, in Merrimack truck wreck

Merrimack firefighters and state DOT officials inspect the wreckage of a large box truck that rolled over on the Everett Turnpike in Merrimack early Thursday morning. Part of the turnpike was closed for several hours for cleanup. (Photo by Jeffrey Hastings)

MERRIMACK – The driver of the large box truck that rolled over on the Everett Turnpike early Thursday morning escaped serious injury, but officials had to close the turnpike to allow crews to clean up the scene of debris and spilled diesel fuel.

Merrimack police, fire and ambulance personnel, along with troopers from state police Troop B in Bedford, were called at about 3:15 a.m. to the southbound side of the turnpike just north of Exit 12 for a motor vehicle crash involving a rollover, officials said.

They spoke with the driver, identified as Claudio Barros, 31, of Brockton, Mass., who said he was driving south when he swerved to a miss an animal in the roadway, according to police.

As he swerved, he told police, he lost control of the vehicle, a 2014 Freightliner box truck, which then struck the center median barrier.

The impact caused the truck to roll over in the middle of the turnpike, officials said.

A significant amount of debris created by the crash, along with diesel fuel from the truck’s ruptured tank, forced the closure of the lanes on both the northbound and southbound sides of the turnpike.

Barros, the driver, sustained minor injuries, police said, and was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua for treatment.

They said emergency responders and state DOT officials “worked diligently on cleaning up the crash scene,” but traffic delays persisted into the morning commute.

State police ask that anyone with any additional information related to the crash contact Trooper Jacob Wood at 666-3333.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.