UPDATE: Bennington man one of two truck drivers in stable condition following head-on collision


NORTH ADAMS -- The drivers of two tractor-trailer trucks involved in a head-on collision near the intersection of Union and Beaver streets were reported to be in "stable" condition Tuesday morning, according to hospital spokesmen.

Michael Lemieux, 53, of Bennington, Vt., the driver of the eastbound truck, was listed in "stable condition," according to Berkshire Medical Center spokesman Michael Leary.

Mihai Goaga, 39, of Revere, the driver of the westbound truck that reportedly lost its brakes at the Hairpin Turn on Monday afternoon, was said to be in "fair condition" by an Albany Medical Center spokeswoman.

Goaga, was flown by helicopter to Albany Medical Center on Monday night. Albany Medical Center only lists patient conditions as being fair, serious or critical.

Information about the extent of a patient's injuries cannot be released by hospitals.

The status of the drivers of two other cars involved in the accident were not available Tuesday morning.

According to North Adams Police Director Michael Cozzaglio, a Toyota Highlander driven by Susan Konopka, 57, of North Adams, was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital. The Toyota Highlander sustained major front-end damage.

He said the driver of the Honda Civic, Kevin P. Callanan, 52, of North Adams, was treated at the scene of the accident and was expected to go to North Adams Regional Hospital on Monday night.

"Our preliminary information, based on eye-witness accounts, tell us that the brakes of the orange, westbound trailer truck were smoking and burning as it headed west on Route 2," Cozzaglio said. "Coincidentally, there was a state police officer who was behind the truck, who made every effort to stop the truck up on the flats near West Shaft Road. It appears that the truck couldn't stop. By the time the driver made it to the corner near the intersection of Union and Beaver streets, he lost control of the truck."

The accident, which occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on Monday, was still under investigation by a member of the State Police Accident Reconstruction Team's truck team Tuesday morning.

"The trooper was down at Dean's Auto this morning," Cozzaglio said.

According to initial reports, Goaga, the driver of the runaway truck, attempted to slow down by riding an embankment alongside the eastbound lane across from Beaver Street, before colliding head-on with the tractor-trailer traveling east on Union Street.

The westbound truck then crossed the road, hit the guardrail and came to rest against a concrete wall.

"We haven't experienced an accident of this magnitude, involving two tractor-trailer trucks in a very long time," Cozzaglio said. "A telephone pole [at the corner of Union and Gallup streets] was sheared off and a house at 358 Union St. was also hit. The road had well-over 100 gallons of diesel fuel dumped onto the road and grass. The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was notified immediately and they were on the scene Monday night."

He said DEP representatives were still assessing the site Tuesday morning.


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