Truck, bus travel ban lifted on Thruway

The ban on tractor trailers and commercial buses on the New York State Thruway in Western New York because of hazardous weather conditions has been lifted.

The New York State Thruway Authority lifted the travel ban on Interstate 90 from Exit 46 to the Pennsylvania state line just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave a stern warning to any truckers or bus drivers violating the ban. On Thursday morning, he said state police would crack down on truckers who violated the travel ban on the western section of the Thruway after a tractor-trailer crash was blamed for causing a major pile-up during severe weather.

Speaking Thursday morning near Buffalo, Cuomo said truckers who violate the ban and cause a crash could be charged with reckless endangerment and assault as well as be ticketed.

“Under the penal law, there could be a crime under section 120 for reckless endangerment and assault, so we are not kidding around,” Cuomo said.

The ban prohibited tractor-trailers and buses from traveling Interstate 90 between Rochester and the Pennsylvania border. Troopers pulled trucks off the road Thursday morning, stopping them from getting on at the LeRoy Thruway entrance and going west.

Cuomo says a tractor-trailer whose driver ignored the ban jackknifed west of Rochester Wednesday afternoon, causing a 19-vehicle pileup on the eastbound lanes between Batavia and Le Roy that injured several people, including a state trooper injured when a tractor trailer slammed into her car, lodging her between two tractor trailers. Fire officials said her seatbelt likely saved Trooper Dominique Wilson’s life.

Fire officials also said two other people were seriously injured and about half a dozen people sustained minor injuries.

Both of the tractor-trailer drivers involved — Richard Magezi, 41, of Fort Worth, Texas and Michael Lambert, 54, of Hartford, Connecticut were ticketed for disobeying a traffic control device, speed not reasonable and prudent, following too closely, and driving across hazard markings.

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