Drivers Perish in Big Rig Accidents in Massachusetts and New York

A New Jersey woman died after the rear wheels of a tractor trailer flew off the rig and smashed into her car in New York.Two accidents involving tractor trailers claimed the lives of drivers in Massachusetts and New York, respectively.

In Massachusetts, a 57-year-old man was killed when the car he was driving struck a tractor trailer that was parked in an emergency cutout on Interstate 93 in Methuen on August 15.

State police told the Lawrence Eagle Tribune that the accident occurred around 10 a.m. on the southbound side of the highway near Exit 47. According to officials, a 1999 Cadillac Deville being driven by David McGurl of Arlington apparently veered off the roadway and into the back of a 2003 Freightliner during a rainstorm.

Police are continuing to investigate the exact cause of the accident, but told the news agency that a preliminary investigation found that McGurl never hit the brakes before the collision. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The driver of the big rig reportedly had pulled off the interstate and into the cutout to wait for his next load assignment.

The roadway was closed for more than two hours while work crews cleared the wreckage.

In New York, a freak accident left a 62-year-old New Jersey woman dead after the two rear wheels of an 18-wheeler flew off the truck and smashed into her car on Interstate 95 on August 16.

State Police investigator Joseph Beccera told the Lower Hudson Journal News that Adele Mancuso was driving northbound on the highway near the Interstate 287 exit in Rye when her car was struck by the truck's wheels.

"The tractor-trailer lost the whole rear axle with two wheels attached," Beccera said. "The entire axle compartment went airborne about 100 yards and crashed into the windshield and roof of the northbound vehicle."

Mancuso was declared dead at the scene of the accident.

Police said that Mancuso's 84-year-old mother, who was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash, suffered only minor injuries.

The unidentified driver of the tractor trailer reportedly did not stop after the incident. He was later tracked down by state police. It's still unknown whether he will be charged in the deadly accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 1,156 people died as the result of motor vehicle accidents in New York in 2009.