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Steel Coils Fall Off Tractor-Trailer; 4 Killed When Cars Crushed

October 5, 1992

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Three-and-a-half-ton steel coils fell off a tractor-trailer on a busy highway this morning, crushing several cars and killing four people, authorities said.

Police said a southbound truck apparently swerved to miss a stopped car on Interstate 190 in downtown Buffalo. The massive coils spilled off the truck bed and over a short concrete barrier separating northbound and southbound lanes. Several vehicles were crushed and some caught on fire.

Four people were killed, said a spokesman at the Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office who would not give his name. Authorities were having trouble identifying the victims because of the condition of the bodies, he said.

″The stuff came flying over, and a couple of cars started on fire,″ said Daniel Lyons of suburban West Seneca, who was two or three vehicles behind the crash. ″All you could see was debris and smoke.″

The 7 a.m. accident caused a lengthy backup on the roadway in both directions. By midmorning, authorities had gotten traffic moving southbound, but had closed off the northbound lanes of the highway.

State police said the truck belonged to Ken Staub Trucking Inc. of Buffalo and was driven by Philip Barker of Grand Island.

The metal rolls were about 4 feet in diameter and weighed about 7,000 pounds. The steel, when uncoiled, is used to construct roadside barriers.

The victims were not immediately identified.