Accident shuts Route 30 in Blenheim



Above: Photo from the scene of an accident on Route 30 posted to Schoharie Fire Wire and News. For more photos from the scene, see their Facebook page.

A collision between an SUV and a truck hauling a dumpster on Wednesday morning left two men injured and forced the shutdown of Route 30 in Blenheim, police said.

The accident occurred shortly after 9 am, when the SUV struck the truck, said Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond, whose officers responded to the scene. The crash left the driver of the SUV trapped in his vehicle, Desmond said, and it took responders about an hour to extricate him with the Jaws of Life.

The driver of the truck, Donald Benninger, an employee of Fred's Sanitation in Esperance, sustained only minor injuries, according to Sergeant Timothy Preston of the New York State Police. The driver of the SUV, William Hannmann, was seriously injured and evacuated by helicopter to Albany Medical Center, where he is in intensive care.

Benninger was treated at Fox Memorial Hospital and released, Preston said.

The impact sent the truck and dumpster careening into a utility pole, snapping the pole and knocking out power in the area, Preston said. A National Grid power outage map reported 254 households without power in Blenheim as of around 2 p.m.

Route 30 was closed for hours while New York State Police officers from the collision reconstruction unit investigated the scene. A crew from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was also on the scene, Desmond said, cleaning up oil that spilled from the vehicles.

"There was quite a bit of oil on the road, and it was slippery," Desmond said.

The road was reopened around 3:40, according to Preston. 

This post was updated around 4 p.m. to include the reopening of Route 30 and the names of the drivers. --Ed.