Rt.12 Shut Down By Head-on Crash Between Van And Tractor Trailer

By: Zachary Meseck

Rt.12 shut down by head-on crash between van and tractor trailer (New York State Police Photo)

OXFORD – A tractor trailer caught fire following a head-on crash with a van at about 4:44 a.m. this morning between Oxford and Norwich along State Highway 12.

Officials said no one was killed in the crash that involved only the two drivers.

A collision occurred in a 55 mph area with the vehicles traveling in opposite directions. The crash left the driver of the van pinned inside the wreck and sparked a fire.

According to Oxford Fire Department Chief Ron Martin, firefighters were dispatched at approximately 4:44 a.m. Friday morning.

Martin said upon arrival the tractor trailer was in flames, and there was a man trapped inside the van.

"The van looked like it was completely demolished," he said. "Because the driver of the tractor trailer was already out of the vehicle, extrication of the person in the van was our priority."

With a fire raging nearby he said it was probably the most challenging vehicle extraction the Oxford Fire Department has dealt with in a long time.

"How in God's name the man in that van survived is beyond me," said Martin. "We worked for about an hour to get him out of what was left of the van, and he was able to communicate with us throughout the process."

Law enforcement said the roadway at State Highway 12 near Phetteplace Road in Norwich was closed at about 5 a.m. and remained closed Friday morning. Officials were unsure of when the road might reopen while crews clear the road and police investigate.

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