HOMER---A Florida man suffered leg injuries after crashing his box truck into a snowplow on Interstate 81 this morning, closing the southbound lane from Preble to Homer for two hours, according to police.
Oscar Osnay Zambrana Reynoso, 28, of Miami, was pulled from his box truck by members of the Homer Fire Department using power tools and taken by ambulance to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, said Fire Chief Mahlon Irish. Reynoso’s condition was not available this afternoon. No one else was injured in the crash.
About 6:10 this morning, Reynoso was driving south on I-81 when he struck a state Department of Transportation snow plow from behind, according to the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office.
Snow plows typically travel at 35 mph when plowing or salting -- much slower than the posted speed limit of 65 mph, according to the state DOT. Light snow fell throughout the night and early morning in the Cortland area, according to the National Weather Service, and the temperature was just below freezing at 6:15 this morning.
Reynoso was pinned during the crash when the front of the box truck crumpled into the cab, Irish said.
“He ended up in the passing lane up, against the guard rail, and the front of the truck was fairly well smashed up,” Irish said.
With the doors of the cab deformed and compacted, Homer firefighters used a hydraulic cutting tool known as the Jaws of Life to shear metal away from Reynoso, he said.
“We had to pull the dash away from him to get clearance enough to get him on a backboard and stretcher,” Irish said. A member of the TLC Emergency Medical Services ambulance squad aided Reynoso while the firefighters worked to unpin his body, he said.
Talking with Reynoso was challenging as he did not share a common language with the emergency workers, Irish noted.
“There was a bit of a language barrier because he spoke Spanish and I don’t know if he spoke any English,” he said.
In Miami-Dade County, Reynoso’s home county, 65.3 percent of residents speak Spanish at home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
After he was released from the truck, Reynoso was taken by ambulance to Upstate University Hospital, Irish said.
“They did a U-turn and went right up 81,” he said.
The snow plow driver was not injured in the crash, according to the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office.
Reynoso was issued tickets for following too closely, failure to use designated lane, and operating an unregistered motor vehicle, all violations, according to the department.
The state police Motor Vehicle Unit also aided deputies at the accident scene, as well as the Preble Fire Department, according to a news release. Ron’s Body & Paint of Cortland and Big Red Towing of Syracuse also responded to the crash.