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Steuben Deputies avert tragedy after tractor trailer rollover in Avoca

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Deputies Brian Harrison and Ryan Andrews played key roles

From Steuben County, pictured are Harrison, Andrews

BATH — The swift response of Steuben County deputies during an early morning tractor trailer rollover on an I-86 overpass in the Town of Avoca saved a life and prevented catastrophic complications, according to county Sheriff Jim Allard.

Deputies Brian Harrison and Ryan Andrews quickly assessed the scene of the terrifying crash around 4 am on March 4 and began calling for resources to stabilize the vehicle and extract the driver, Allard told the county Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee Monday. 

The tractor end of the vehicle was over the guide rail and in danger of descending to the roadway below. Allard told the committee. 

“The operator of the truck was still in the cab and screaming for help,” Allard said. “They also called for additional resources to shut down the highway below the overpass, which was in danger of falling debris from the overturned tractor-trailer.”

Photo courtesy of Fleet Pride

Allard told legislators the calm, professional manner with which both deputies communicated and de-escalated the panicked driver, and ensured that a secondary incident did not occur below them lead to the driver’s and the vehicle’s safe removal from a complicated crash scene. 

Both deputies worked efficiently and effectively with responding Fire and EMS agencies to avoid a tragedy, Allard said.

Allard also credited the deputies for recognizing they were in the immediate vicinity when the first call went out, reducing the time it took for emergency units to respond.

“I commend Deputy Ryan Andrews and Deputy Brian Harrison for their professionalism, leadership and service,” Allard said.  “Not only did they recognize the critical nature of this crash, they provided calm leadership towards a successful and safe resolution.”

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