September 19, 2004 -Truck accident at North Hudson-Canadian Border
Personnel from the USBP were conducting an immigration checkpoint on I-87 near North Hudson, New York, about 74 miles south of the Canadian border. Checkpoint operations required vehicles in both southbound traffic lanes to stop for an inspection and a brief driver interview. As a result, traffic became congested on I-87 southbound and had backed up approximately 807 feet north of the checkpoint. A 1994 Peterbilt combination unit and three passenger vehicles were stopped at the end of the queue in the right lane.
A 2004 Peterbilt truck-tractor, operated by a 48-year-old truck driver, was approaching the checkpoint at a recorded speed of 59 mph in a 65-mph zone. The truck driver, a Canadian national, had departed Boucherville, Quebec, about 11:30 a.m. and had driven about 135 miles of an approximate 560-mile trip to York, Pennsylvania. Reaching the queue of stopped vehicles at the checkpoint, the truck failed to stop and collided with a 1990 Honda passenger car. The Honda was pushed underneath a 1999 GMC pickup truck. The pickup truck was pushed off to the right, traveling about 100 feet, where it came to rest facing northbound off the west side of the interstate. The Honda continued forward and to the right, coming to rest approximately 94 feet from the impact area. The 2004 Peterbilt truck-tractor continued forward and collided with a 1994 GMC pickup truck that was towing a 29-foot Nomad camper trailer. The 1994 GMC pickup truck was pushed forward approximately 100 feet and came to rest at the right side of the 2004 Peterbilt truck-tractor. The 2004 Peterbilt combination unit that initiated the accident sequence traveled approximately 173 feet from the initial impact with the traffic queue to where it stopped in the roadway against the back of a 1994 Peterbilt combination unit. A postaccident fire burned the 1990 Honda, the 1994 GMC pickup truck and camper trailer, and the accident vehicle.
The occupants of the Honda were fatally injured; the driver of the 1994 GMC pickup truck was fatally injured. A passenger in the 1994 GMC pickup truck, the driver of the 1999 GMC pickup truck, and the driver of the 2004 Peterbilt truck-tractor all sustained serious injuries. The driver of the 1994 Peterbilt combination unit was not injured. It was later determined that the driver of the Peterbilt truck suffered from obesity-hypoventilation syndrome and as a result he was unable to respond quickly to the build up of cars at the border stop.
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