HOOSICK, N.Y. – The truck driver involved in a gas tanker truck accident on Route 7 in Hoosick on Wednesday is stabilized with non-life threatening injuries, state police say.
The driver, 34-year-old Shawn Disley, of Agawam, Mass. is currently at the Burn Center at Westchester Medical Center with burns to 20 percent of his body primarily face, hands and legs.
Disley was driving the gas tanker truck that rolled over the embankment and caught fire on Route 7 in Hoosick around 11:50 a.m. Wednesday.
Investigators with the State Police say Disley will be crucial to the investigation, as it is still unclear how the accident happened.
They do know the truck rolled when it failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, striking a guiderail and a telephone pole and then overturning down a 30-foot embankment into the Shingle Hollow, a tributary of the Hoosick River.
First responders say a family driving by at that time likely helped saved Disley's life.
“The driver was picked up on the side of the highway by a bystander driving by and was taken to the local Stewart's a half-mile away,” said Hoosick Fire Chief William Rifenburgh.
Rifenburgh said the group then “flagged down a Capital District ambulance that was returning from another call or transport.” The driver was then transported to Albany Medical Center and later airlifted to Westchester County Medical Center Burn unit.
The family, which included one with 22 years of nursing experience, says they just feel lucky they were in the right place at the right time to help pull the driver to safety.
The tanker was carrying 8,000 gallons of gasoline, including 1,500 gallons of diesel, from the JP Noonan company out of West Springfield.
JP Noonan, the company that owns the truck, said they have not had significant problems in the past.
Disley's older brother, Jason, tells NEWS10 the family has not been contacted by JP Noonan. Jason says they tried reaching out to them last night from emergency room and said they would call back, but the family still hasn't heard from a representative.
Police investigators say the speed limit on the road is 55 miles-per-hour and “there have not been enough accidents on it to make it a dangerous road.”