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Milk truck overturns, SUV hits it


TAGHKANIC—Slick road conditions were blamed for causing a milk truck to overturn and then for a sport utility vehicle being unable to avoid hitting it on County Route 10, just south of Strohmeier Lane, January 3 at 4:21 p.m.

Columbia County 911 dispatched Sheriff’s deputies to the accident scene. An investigation revealed that a 2013 Peterbilt tractor and milk tanker trailer operated by Brian J. Gelinas, 49, of Red Hook was traveling south on County Route 10 when he was unable to negotiate a hill due to slippery road conditions. The tractor trailer slid backwards, jack-knifed and overturned blocking the roadway. The truck cab remained upright. The tanker contained several thousand gallons of milk, some of which was leaking out of the tanker; the exact amount is unknown. The driver was not injured and he immediately called 911, according to a press release from Sheriff David Bartlett.

During the call, a northbound 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe, operated by Renea Fontanez, 48, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was unable to stop before striking the disabled tractor trailer head on.

Ms. Fontanez complained of neck, back, knee and right side face pain. All but one of the five passengers in the Tahoe also complained of pain in various parts of their bodies, but everyone, including the driver, declined medical transport to the hospital.

The accident is still under investigation.

Greenport Rescue Squad, Taghkanic firefighters and Josh Ufberg from the state Department of Environmental Conservation assisted at the scene.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office were Deputies Jason Garvey and Michael Meier.

Sheriff Bartlett thanked the resident who opened his home to emergency personnel and the people involved in the accident.

Firefighters were back in service at 7:53 p.m.

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