Driver of truck that died in Monday’s horrific crash identified

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Pleasant Valley Asst. Fire Chief John Cronk (center), was one of the first on the scene. Copyright Mid-Hudson News 2022.

HYDE PARK – A 33-year-old man was killed on Monday when a tractor-trailer he was operating left the roadway and plowed into a building.  The accident occurred on Salt Point Turnpike at approximately 10:40 a.m.

Craig Allen Dickson of Hopewell Junction was operating a tractor-trailer, fully-loaded, owned by MJD Construction of Pawling, traveling east on Salt Point Turnpike when it left the roadway and slammed into Junior’s Lounge at 504 Salt Point Turnpike.

The Peterbilt tractor, barely visible under the rubble. Copyright Mid-Hudson News 2022.

The responding emergency personnel learned that the owner of Junior’s Lounge, Louis Rossi was inside the bar when it was struck and was able to escape. The upstairs tenant, Sarah  Dempsey, was sleeping in the front apartment. The crash resulted in her to be carried out of the building along with her bed coming to a final rest on the top of the tractor-trailer.

The first personnel on the scene, Pleasant Valley Assistant Fire Chief John Cronk and a police officer found her in rubble on top of the truck. Dempsey was transported to MidHudson Regional Hospital and treated for minor injuries.  

Firefighters from Arlington, LaGrange, and Poughkeepsie Fire Departments as part of a highly-trained “Collapse Rescue Team” worked to shore up the collapsing building so that rescuers could safely reach the driver who was buried in the wreckage. Once access to the demolished tractor was established, Dickson was pronounced dead at the scene by the Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office.

According to Hyde Park Police Chief Robert Benson, the events leading up to the crash are still being investigated but investigators believe the driver of the tractor-trailer was involved in a crash in the City of Poughkeepsie at the intersection of Weed and Smith Streets. The tractor-trailer left the scene of that accident and continued east from Smith Street to Salt Point Turnpike.

According to the police chief, witnesses reported the tractor-trailer was driving erratically and went into the westbound lane of traffic several times on Salt Point Turnpike. The Peterbilt tractor-trailer continued east on Salt Point Turnpike and just west of Junior’s Lounge was involved in a collision with a 2021 Toyota Highlander operated by Kimberly Glatz of Hyde Park. The impact caused the car to overturn and came to rest on the south shoulder of the roadway. Glatz was extricated from the vehicle and transported to Vassar Hospital for evaluation. Glatz did not suffer any major injuries.  

The truck, Benson says, appears to have overcorrected or was deflected from the crash with Glatz and went off the south shoulder of the roadway and struck the building before coming to rest partially through the structure. 

The former Junior’s Lounge on Tuesday morning, and went off the south shoulder of the roadway and struck the building before coming to rest partially through the structure. 

The building was deemed unsafe by the Town of Hyde Park Building Department and was torn down by Amity Construction with the assistance of Gleason Construction. This incident is still actively being investigated by the Hyde Park Police Department, New York State  Police Commercial Vehicle Unit, and the New York State Police Accident  Reconstruction Investigators.

Salt Point Turnpike was reopened to traffic at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Monday evening.

If anyone has any other information or may have witnessed any erratic operation is asked to call the Hyde Park Police  Department at 845-229-9340.  

The account of the original wreck that killed the driver and led to the rescue of a building tenant can be found by clicking here.

Video of Monday’s scene: