Updated June 12
The roof was ripped from a United Parcel Service delivery truck Tuesday afternoon when the driver veered onto the shoulder on Old County Road in West Tisbury. The truck hit a tree limb, careened to the opposite side of the road, and crashed into woods. Despite heavy damage to the truck, the driver received only a minor cut, West Tisbury Police Chief Matt Mincone said. Police cited the driver, 35-year-old Dennis Cleary of Wilmington, with impeded operation. Chief Mincone said he was looking at a “handheld global positioning unit” relative to his work when he hit the tree.
“The damage was extensive. I’m glad he walked away,” Chief Mincone said.
While Cleary didn’t require extrication, the truck did. Chief Micone said chainsaws were used to cut trees it was hung up on. The accident shut down Old County Road while the scene was being assessed and the truck removed.
Chief Mincone said Cleary was new to driving on-Island, and earlier in the day had lightly bumped a split rail fence elsewhere in West Tisbury while trying to back up.
Chief Mincone said the package cargo remained inside the truck, though there was a debris field around the truck. These could have been misconstrued as packages.
Generally speaking, Chief Mincone said this was a wake-up call to Vineyard drivers. “There are too many people looking down at their phones,” he said.
It was fortunate there were no oncoming cars when Cleary veered across the roadway, he said.
Updated with more details on the crash.