Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
Moments before a speeding tanker truck rolled over on Route 2 in Lincoln this morning, landing on three vehicles and injuring two people, Nancy James checked her rearview mirror and saw the truck going off the road. Sensing danger, she quickly turned her wheel to the left.
"That’s what saved my life,” said James of Concord, who was driving a 2007 Toyota Avalon. The out-of-control tanker crushed her entire car, except for the driver's seat, leaving her unscathed.
The crash on westbound Route 2 occurred at 9 a.m. at Crosby's Corner, near the border with Concord.
The tanker drove onto the right shoulder of the roadway and rolled over onto the three vehicles to its left, State Police said in a statement.
“Then there was all this crashing and crushing, and I know I hit the car beside me because I was forced into it by the impact,” James said.
The driver of the tanker, John Revene, 47, of Westborough, was issued a citation for speeding. He suffered serious injuries and was flown in a medical helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital.
Elizabeth Buchanan, 52, of Arlington, driving a 2006 Toyota Matrix crushed by the rear end of the tanker, suffered minor injuries and was transported to Emerson Hospital in Concord.
Christiane Rabich, 48, of Ontario, Canada, driving a 2000 Chrysler minivan partially crushed by the cab of the tanker, was not injured.
James said a man who witnessed the crash from behind pulled her out of her car window shortly after the crash.
Jay Howard, president of Trans-Spec Truck Service Inc., which owned the truck, said no accidents of this magnitude have happened with the company's tankers before.
The Department of Transportation inspected the tanker and found no brake defects, Howard said. He also said there was just one speeding ticket, in 2006, on Revene’s 6-year driving record with his previous employer and with Trans-Spec.
The driver should have been driving a different route, and corporation officials have not spoken to him, he said.
“I don’t know what the consequences of this could be, but I’m sure they could be severe,” said Howard. “At least there were no fatalities.”
The accident, which caused authorities to close Route 2 and divert traffic heading both directions, was cleared by 11:30 a.m.
The tanker truck was carrying about 8,500 gallons of diesel fuel. None of its cargo spilled, said Sergeant Michael Popovics, a State Police spokesman. The accident is under investigation.
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