A dump truck crashes through a stone wall on Hawks Nest

(Additional photos below) (c)

DEERPARK — A dump truck driver escaped what could have been fatal in a crash in the town of Deerpark on Thursday morning. The crash happened on a steep, winding section of Route 97 known as Hawks Nest just after 8 a.m.

The driver of the construction vehicle, which is owned by TAM Enterprises of Goshen, NY, lost control of his vehicle due to a steering failure, according to initial police reports. The vehicle then struck a rock cut on the mountain side of the road and was thrown across the road. It then hit a rock face bordering a steep ledge above the Delaware River.

The truck’s front wheels came to rest through the rock face,]and extended over the edge. He did not continue forward, nor over the cliff.

“It was nothing a man could have done,” Deerpark Police Chief Richard Sztyndor said as he assessed the location of the truck stop. “This could only have happened with the help of a higher power.”

The stretch of road runs along a 305-foot bluff, overlooking the Delaware River below. If the vehicle had continued a few inches further, it probably could not have been towed off the wall and back down Highway 97 by the Prestige tow.

Sparrowbush Engine Company operated in command of on-site operations, assisted by the Port Jervis Fire Department for traffic control. State Police assisted Deerpark Police during the call.

Sztyndor said the driver complained of pain in his arms and was taken by ambulance to hospital for evaluation.

No tickets were issued and New York Department of Transportation personnel were on scene placing barriers through the hole in the rock face as the investigation continued.

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