Lynn man who crashed truck carrying cheese on Expressway was drunk, prosecutors say

MILTON, MA (WHDH) - MILTON, Mass. (WHDH) — A tractor-trailer hauling cheese and operated by an alleged drunken driver rolled onto its side on the Expressway just outside Boston early Thursday morning, causing major headaches for the morning commute.

The truck crashed on the exit 10 ramp at Squantum Street in Milton at about 1 a.m., damaging guard rails, and taking 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 exit 10 ramp will remain closed Thursday and will be re-opened in time for the morning commute on Friday, MassDOT said. Effective at midnight, 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, of Lynn, was arrested. Pleitez 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 in Chelsea 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 friends’ 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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