Contractor dies after truck tips over on on-ramp for I-84E in West Hartford

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WEST HARTFORD--A Connecticut man died in an on-the-job accident Wednesday after the tractor trailer he was working with tipped over. It happened while crews were setting up to do a bridge inspection on I-84 East near Park Road. The exit 43 on-ramp was shutdown for several hours.

Around 9:30 p.m., I-84 West was shut down for a short time so that big rigs could come in to hoist the truck off the bridge. Several locals stopped by to watch the complicated clean-up.

State police said a "snooper" lift truck that had a crane on it was parked to do work around 1:30 p.m. when the truck became unbalanced and tipped over. That left the front cabin dangling in mid-air and somehow killed William Shook of Middlefield.

The 43-year-old was employed by McClain and Company of Virginia, a company subcontracted by GM2, which Connecticut employs for bridge inspections.

West Hartford Assistant Fire Chief Richard Winn said first responders found Shook lying on the roadway. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital with injuries where he later died.

This is the second incident involving a McClain and Co. contractor truck this week; the first was on Tuesday on the Gold Star Bridge that connects New London and Groton.

Due to the recent incidents, CT DOT has ordered that no trucks or personnel from McClain and Co. be used for any state work, effective immediately.

A woman who answered the phone at McClain and Co. said the company had no official comment but did tell FOX CT they were "devastated."

The incident was declared a hazmat situation by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection due to fluids, possibly fuel or hydraulic fluid, leaking from the truck into the Trout Brook River, which runs beneath the roadway.

State police, West Hartford police, West Hartford fire, DEEP, and OSHA officials all responded to the scene.

Fire crews assisted with cleanup well after dark. Winn said the boom attached to the truck made clearing the incident complicated and possibly risky because he wasn't sure which way the boom would swing.

"They're also, right now, making sure that we can get this operation without hurting or anybody else getting killed," said Winn on why removal of the tipped truck took more than 9 hours.