(3:35 PM) Semi Driver Airlifted After Being Pinned In Truck

P-J photo by Eric Tichy

BEMUS POINT — An Ohio man was airlifted to a nearby hospital after being trapped for three hours in the cab of his tractor-trailer that rolled onto its side Thursday.

The crash occurred shortly before 11 a.m. at the Ellery Overlook Rest Area in Bemus Point.


Capt. Eric Balon of the New York State Police said 72-year-old Gary W. Brown was leaving the rest area when he either misjudged the curve or failed to notice the curve while on the on-ramp to Interstate 86. The semi left the road before sliding down an embankment and rolling onto its side.

Balon said Brown’s arm was pinned between the truck and the ground while his leg was pinned between the steering wheel and seat.

According to Greg Scott, county Battalion 4 coordinator, the semi was hauling chicken feed at the time of the crash. Bemus Point firefighters were assisted Thursday by Fluvanna and Ellery Center volunteer fire departments. Chautauqua County EMS, Technical Rescue, HAZMAT and fire coordinators also responded to the on-ramp.

A large wrecker was brought in to stabilize the semi as crews worked to free Brown. The Ohio man was removed from his cab a little after 2 p.m. and brought to the helicopter for transport.

John Griffith, Chautauqua County Emergency Services director, said in his 25 years in the service it was the longest extrication he had ever seen. He said first responders had to be careful in handling the semi to ensure Brown was not further injured.

An update on Brown’s condition wasn’t known by press time.