MILTON, MA (WHDH) - A tractor-trailer hauling cheese and operated by an alleged drunken driver rolled over on I-93 in Milton early Thursday morning, causing major headaches for the morning commute.
The truck crashed on the exit 10 ramp at Squantum Street in Milton at around 1 a.m. The crash damaged guardrails and took down power lines. The highway was closed in both directions for a time and 38,000 pounds of cheese had to be removed from the truck before it was uprighted.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said the exit 10 ramp will remain closed Thursday and will be reopened in time for the morning commute on Friday. Effective at midnight Thursday, there will be intermittent closures of I-93 north and southbound in Milton because emergency repairs are needed in the area.
The driver, identified as 43-year-old Eri Pleitez was arrested. Pleitez, of Lynn, was arraigned later Thursday morning on charges including operating under the influence of liquor.
Pleitez entered a not guilty plea in Quincy District Court. He claimed he was cut off by another driver but also admitted to drinking six beers at a birthday party in Chelsea at around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Witnesses told police that they did not see another driver cut him off.
“He only had a couple of beers because it was a friend’s birthday. He wasn’t really that drunk,” said Jo Dellamano, Pleitez’s friend.
Prosecutors said Pleitez, a father of three, was slurring his speech and had glassy eyes when he spoke with state troopers at the scene. They said he had a BAC level of .11 and that he failed several field sobriety tests.
Pleitez was ordered held on $2,500 cash bail. A judge ordered him to stay off the road until the case has been resolved.
No injuries were reported in the crash.
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