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ALBANY, NY – A driver of a Toyota Corolla going the wrong way on an interstate set off a deadly truck accident early Thursday morning, July 29, in Albany County, New York. The head-on collision occurred in the southbound lanes of Interstate 787 near the state capital of Albany and would kill the driver of the passenger car and leave the semi trailer truck a burning wreck. The accident area is in the east central section of the state about 150 miles north of New York City and about 40 miles northwest of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The impact of the truck accident apparently damaged at least one of the fuel tanks and the semi trailer exploded into flames. After the initial collision the semi trailer skidded about 100 yards down the interstate, its tires melting down to the rims.

Shortly after 5:00 a.m. Thursday morning 46 year old truck driver Talikai Ayuba of Albany, NY was driving a semi trailer truck south on Interstate 787 through Albany, NY. The driver was carrying a load of about 39,000 pounds of blueprint and copy paper, working for J.B. Hunt Transportation which has a facility at the Port of Albany.

At the same time 62 year old Peter Schissler of Albany was driving north in the southbound lanes of the interstate. Several witness called in to 911 to report seeing the driver going the wrong way near Exit 2 on the interstate. Authorities believe that Mr. Schissler entered the southbound lanes of I-787 from Southern Boulevard which is near his home.

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At about 5:15 a.m. the two vehicles met in the southbound lanes of I-787 near the ramp for Exit 5. The driver of the semi trailer was unable to swerve out of the way and slammed head-on into Mr. Schissler’s Toyota Corolla.

The impact of the truck accident apparently damaged at least one of the fuel tanks and the semi trailer exploded into flames. After the initial collision the semi trailer skidded about 100 yards down the interstate, its tires melting down to the rims. The driver, Mr. Ayuba, was able to leap from the burning trailer truck as the rig came to a rest against a guardrail on the left side of the road. The cargo of paper products fed the fire and soon the entire 18 wheeler rig was burning and filling the air with toxic black plumes of smoke.

Police shut down a section of northbound and southbound lanes on the interstate around the truck accident scene while the emergency personnel and clean up crews worked.

The Toyota Corolla flipped over onto a guardrail after the truck accident trapping Mr. Schissler in the car.

The Albany Fire Department and rescue personnel rushed to the site of the truck accident and attempted to give aid to the two victims. Mr. Schissler, the driver of the car going the wrong way, suffered fatal injuries in the head-on collision and was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was treated and stabilized at the site and then transported to Albany Medical Center. His injuries were reported as non life threatening.

Firefighters at the truck accident site spent hours fighting the flames on the burning tractor trailer. Once the flames were extinguished another crew was brought in to clean up the smoldering wreckage of the semi trailer.


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Police shut down a section of northbound and southbound lanes on the interstate around the truck accident scene while the emergency personnel and clean up crews worked. The northbound lanes reopened shortly before noon on Thursday while the southbound lanes would remain closed until Thursday evening.

Authorities from the NY State Police commercial vehicle enforcement and collision reconstruction units were at the site to investigate the truck accident. They believe that the Toyota driver may have had some kind of medical attack or sudden disability that caused him to enter the interstate going the wrong way. They do not believe that drugs or alcohol were factors. Investigators are also reviewing the semi truck and the safety records of the driver and his employer.

No charges have been brought at this time and the truck accident remains under investigation.


For more information about New York trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims rights, contact a nationwide truck accident attorney at Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP for expert advice. For a free initial consultation, talk to a NY truck accident lawyer at 1.800.773.6770.

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