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Trucker Charged After Fiery Interstate 81 Crash

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

A tractor-trailer driver has been cited for following too closely after a multi-truck crash that snarled Interstate 81 traffic in Broome County during this morning’s rush hour.

Authorities say the pile-up happened around 5:40 a.m. They say it apparently was caused by the Canadian trucker, who was driving a rig loaded with canned goods.

Investigators say the truck operated by Andrew High of Ontario rear-ended a car carrier hauling new Ford sport utility vehicles.

The impact caused one SUV to fall from the carrier and three others to burst into flames.

The second truck veered to the left and struck a third tractor-trailer, slicing open its fuel tank.

The first rig also caught fire and wound up partially in the highway median.

According to the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, High sustained a head injury and lacerations. He was taken to Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City for treatment.

High was issued a ticket for following too closely. Police say more charges may be filed.

The southbound lanes of Interstate 81 were shut down for more than three hours. Two lanes initially re-opened but one lane remained out of service while the cleanup operation continued.

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