Crash involving 2 trucks shuts down I-93 for Medivac transport of driver

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SALEM, NH — On July 10, at approximately 1:20 p.m. Troopers from Troops B and G barracks, and the Salem Fire Department, responded to a reported crash involving two commercial vehicles. The crash occurred on Interstate 93 south, just north of Exit 1 in Salem.

Troopers arrived to find that a commercial landscaping truck had gone over the guardrail and into the sound barrier on the right side of the roadway. A wood chipper that was being towed by the landscaping truck was in the right breakdown lane, and a box truck with heavy front-end damage.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the Landscaping vehicle, driven by Chaka Puckerin, 42, of Lowell, Mass.,  experienced some type of mechanical issue and began to slow down rapidly. Puckerin was attempting to get the vehicle and wood chipper into the breakdown lane, but he was struck from behind by a 2013 HINO box truck, driven by Luis Oscar Ruiz, 45, of Central Falls, RI.

The box truck sustained major front end damage and Ruiz was trapped in the cab until members of the Salem Fire Department were able to extricate him.  Based on observations made by members of the Salem Fire Department, a Medivac helicopter was requested, and RUIZ was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital, with serious injuries.

Puckerin was transported to The Holy Family Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Three lanes of travel were shut down for approximately 2 hours while Troopers processed the scene. The entire interstate was shut down for approximately 1 hour to allow the Medivac Helicopter to land, load Ruiz, and then take off from the scene.

NH DOT also responded to the scene to assist with lane closures and traffic control, until both commercial vehicles were removed and all lanes of travel were open.

All aspects of this crash are still under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to contact Trooper Randall at (603)223-8844 or