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May 15. 2014 10:31AM

Tractor-trailer crash snarls Route 101 traffic in Raymond

RAYMOND - A tractor hauling a trailer containing natural gas jack-knifed and rolled over Thursday morning on Route 101 East, just east of the Exit 5 on-ramp, backing up traffic during the morning commute.

Peter Smith, 61, of North Hampton, was driving the 2010 Peterbilt tractor, registered to Abenaki Carriers of North Hampton, which was hauling a 2013 box trailer registered to Xpress Natural Gas of Baileyvville, Maine.

Just after 7 a.m., the tractor-trailer unit veered off the highway, went down an embankment, jack-knifed and rolled over. The tractor and trailer separated in the crash, with the tractor ending up facing west in the eastbound travel lane and the trailer upside down over an embankment, according to state police.

Smith suffered what appeared to be minor injuries and was treated on scene by Raymond Fire & Rescue personnel. State police said it appears driver fatigue may be a factor in the crash; however, the incident remains under investigation.

Police said the trailer carried a small amount of natural gas which was safely discharged before the trailer was uprighted. Offloading the gas was coordinated between Xpress Natural Gas officials and the Raymond Fire & Rescue workers, while the tractor and trailer were removed by Al's Automotive & Truck Center of Exeter and National Wrecker Service of Portsmouth.

At one point, traffic was backed up for up to 1 1/2 miles as crews worked to clear the scene.

Anyone with information related to the crash is asked to call trooper Alex Davis at 223-8490.


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