HOOSICK, N.Y. - Crews on the scene of a gas tanker accident in Hoosick describe the truck as "completely incinerated."
The Troy Fire Department and Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office, along with State Police and multiple area fire departments, are at the scene of a gas tanker truck that rolled over the embankment and caught fire on Route 7 in Hoosick around 11:50 a.m. Wednesday.
The accident happened when the tanker was traveling eastbound on Route 7 and failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, striking a guiderail and a telephone pole and then overturning down a 30-foot embankment into the Shingle Hollow, a tributary of the Hoosick River.
The 34-year-old male driver of the truck was able to escape the vehicle but is said to be in very serious condition with burns to his face, hands, and possibly respiratory system.
First responders say a passer-by likely saved his life.
"The driver was picked up on the side of the highway by a bystander driving by and was taken to the local Stewart's a half-mile away," said Hoosick Fire Chief William Rifenburgh.
Rifenburgh said the bystander then "flagged down a Capital District ambulance that was returning from another call or transport." The driver was then transported to Albany Medical Center and later airlifted to Westchester County Medical Center Burn unit.
The tanker was carrying 8,000 gallons of gasoline, including 1,500 gallons of diesel, from the JP Noonan company out of West Springfield.
Officials on scene say there is concern that gasoline has traveled downstream and may enter the Hoosick River. Officials from the DEC are on scene, as well as ENCON to ensure the gasoline is properly taken care of.
National Grid and Verizon also at scene due to pole damage.
Traffic has been closed in both directions surrounding the scene of the accident, about one-quarter mile west from Route 22. The Department of Transportation is asking drivers to use Route 278 to Route 2, then Route 22 to return to Route 7.
NEWS10 is on the scene. Check back to NEWS10.com for updates,