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Truck Rams Mass. Highway Tollbooths

January 22, 1999

WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ A tractor-trailer coming down a long hill slammed into a row of highway toll booths early today, breaking apart two booths and sending two toll workers to the hospital in shock.

The truck driver was hospitalized following the crash near the New York border of the Massachusetts Turnpike, but no one was in the booths that were hit. A toll taker had gone on break five minutes earlier.

``I’ve never seen anything like it,″ said state Trooper Brian Paquette, who was the first on the scene.

The truck slammed head-on into a protective concrete barricade in front of the booth at about 3:45 a.m., sending it flying into the air, Paquette said. The cab then broke apart as the truck pushed through, taking out one toll booth and half of the adjoining booth. The turnpike remained open.

It took more than two hours to free the driver, Antonio Marino, 41, of Quebec, from the mangled truck. His condition at the Berkshire Medical Center was not immediately available.

The toll taker who had been in the demolished booth was taken to the hospital for observation along with another worker, who had been in another of the eight booths.

``It was more shock than anything,″ Paquette said. ``They were both traumatized.″

Police were investigating the cause of the crash.

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