MARATHON, N.Y. — A truck driver was charged with felony vehicular assault following a crash on Interstate 81 in the town of Marathon Monday morning, according to New York State Police.
The accident was reported to the Cortland County 911 Center at around 6:10 a.m. Monday, a county dispatcher said. Police responded I-81 southbound near Exit 9 in Marathon after receiving a report that two tractor trailers collided in the roadway.
An investigation determined that Jeremy D. Austin, 36, of Binghamton, was impaired by drugs when he was driving a 2012 Freightliner tractor trailer on I-81 northbound and drifted off the roadway through a large median, police said. Austin then continued in the southbound lane, where he crashed into a tractor trailer.
Both trailers came to rest in the roadway, blocking traffic for roughly four hours. Traffic was detoured off Exit 9.
A motorist who was traveling behind one of the trucks at the time of the crash told The Cortland Voice that the driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer, though this has not been confirmed by state police.
The driver of the other tractor trailer was transported to UHS Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City with non-life threatening injuries. Police did not say if Austin sustained injuries in the crash.
Austin was charged with second-degree vehicular assault, a felony, and misdemeanors of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Troopers say Austin was carrying about one gram of crystal meth.
He was arraigned in Marathon Town Court Monday afternoon and taken to Cortland County jail in lieu of bail. His next court date in pending.
State police were assisted at the scene by the New York State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, the Cortland County Sheriff's Office, the Marathon Fire Department and the New York State Department of Transportation.
More photos from the crash: