Tractor-trailer slams into building causing collapse; driver presumed dead

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The dump-trailer, barely visible in the debris of what was the front of Junior's Lounge. Photo copyright Mid-Hudson News 2022.

HYDE PARK – A tractor-trailer, possibly loaded with several tons of gravel, left the roadway and plowed into a business in Hyde Park on Monday morning.  The driver of the tractor-trailer was presumed to be deceased.

Police and fire personnel from multiple agencies, along with several ambulance companies responded to Junior’s Lounge at 504 Salt Point Turnpike at approximately 10:45 a.m. for numerous reports of a tractor-trailer that had crashed into the building, causing a partial collapse.

Looking south towards Poughkeepsie. The debris on top of the truck is where the woman was found and rescued.

An Assistant Chief from the Pleasant Valley Fire Department and a police officer were the first to arrive.  As they unsuccessfully attempted to reach the driver of the truck, they heard a woman calling for help.  The woman, a tenant in the apartment was home at the time the truck blasted into the building, directly under her apartment.

The two rescuers found the woman in the debris on top of the truck and were able to lower her to safety as soon as additional rescuers arrived.  The woman was described as “not having a scratch on her” and was transported to MidHudson Regional Hospital for evaluation.

A specialized “Building Collapse Team” consisting of professional firefighters from the Arlington, Poughkeepsie, and LaGrange fire departments was summoned to the scene to shore up various parts of the structure that were at risk of further collapse.

Police are investigating a string of earlier accidents that occurred between a tractor-trailer and several other vehicles that took place on Salt Point Turnpike between Innis Avenue and Junior’s Lounge, including one vehicle that was overturned on the northbound shoulder of the road just before the building that was struck.  The accidents occurred just moments before the truck, operated by MJD Construction in Pawling, crashed into Junior’s Lounge.

Salt Point Turnpike was closed between Gables Boulevard and Cream Street until 8:45 p.m. as rescuers worked to prevent the building from collapsing and investigators examined the entire accident scene.

Video of firefighters and other first responders working to secure the building: