Truck driver who crashed into building and died had opioids in his system

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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 – The driver of the tractor-trailer that crashed into a tavern on Salt Point Turnpike on June 20, 2022, had elevated levels of illegal drugs in his system at the time of his death, according to the Hyde Park Police Department.

Thirty-three-year-old Craig Allen Dickson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident after he drove a tractor-trailer owned by MJD Construction through the building that was the site of Junior’s Lounge on the first floor and had two apartments on the second floor.  The building was demolished.

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

The Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy of Dickson and determined the cause of death to be “Blunt impact injuries and traumatic asphyxia associated with acute intoxication by the combined effects of Fentanyl, Morphine, and Xylazine,” after the results of the toxicology tests were concluded, according to Hyde Park Police Chief Robert Benson. Fentanyl and morphine are both opioids while Xylazine is a tranquilizer used by veterinarians for large animals.

Benson said “The New York State Police Troop K Collision Reconstruction Unit and Hyde Park Police Department interviewed several people and reviewed hours of video to bring this investigation to a close. It has been determined that the cause of the accident was Craig A Dickson Jr’s failure to maintain his lane of travel. The level of intoxication by drugs was a contributing factor to the failure to maintain his lane of travel.”

Chief Benson noted that several agencies worked diligently at the scene as well as during the investigation that was recently completed.

The early Mid-Hudson News account of the accident can be found here.