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Champagne-filled tractor-trailer crashes, snarls I-395 traffic

By Greg Smith

Publication: theday.com

Published September 18. 2013 2:00PM   Updated September 19. 2013 12:25AM
Tim Cook/The Day
Griswold firefighters and state police secure the scene of a tractor-trailer rollover and spill on I-395 North at the Norman Road overpass in Griswold on Wednesday. The accident occurred when the tractor-trailer struck a state Department of Transportation truck on the side of the highway, causing the tractor-trailer to swerve and roll over. The tractor-trailer was loaded with cartons of Champagne, which spilled onto the highway.

Griswold — Champagne was flowing but emergency personnel were not celebrating Wednesday following a tractor-trailer crash that closed Interstate 395 for nearly two hours and snarled traffic in the area into the evening hours.

The 2:15 p.m. crash involved a parked state Department of Transportation truck that was struck by a northbound tractor-trailer north of Exit 85, according to the DOT.

State police said the tractor-trailer, operated by William Wronski, 56, of Blackstone, Mass., was in the right lane and failed to move left for the construction pattern, striking the rear of the DOT truck.

The tractor-trailer rolled onto its side and spilled hundreds of cartons of Champagne, prompting response by the state police, local fire department and both the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and state Department of Consumer Protection.

The DOT vehicle involved in the crash was a "crash attenuation truck," which carries portable crash cushions that look like barrels attached to the back and was on scene to protect workers performing tree work in the area, according to a DOT spokesman.

Both Wronski and the driver of the DOT truck, 34-year-old James Tuttle of North Stonington, were taken by Griswold Ambulance to The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich with what state police described as minor injuries.

The DEEP called on an environmental contractor to clean up a diesel spill and to empty the saddle tanks on the tractor-trailer. The Champagne was collected by the Department of Consumer Protection.

Cleanup of the incident continued into the late evening.

g.smith@theday.com

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