I-81 in Lafayette closed for several hours Monday after driver found unconscious

On July 8, 2019, at 3:34 a.m., Trooper Dennis Carbone and Trooper Corey Fike were dispatched to Interstate 81 south at mile marker 71 in the town of Lafayette to check on the welfare of motorist whose vehicle was parked near the middle of the median and the driver appeared to be unconscious.

When Troopers arrived, they observed an unresponsive male in the driver seat of a 2018 Jeep Cherokee. The Troopers used a rescue tool, which was able to puncture small holes in the glass, but was relatively ineffective and began striking the passenger side window with their elbows and fists in an attempt to gain entry. Eventually, they were able to gain entry and remove the 53-year-old male operator from the vehicle. Shortly after removing the operator, both troopers observed a note on the driver seat that stated poison gas and could smell a toxic vapor from a mixture of chemical acid and cleaning solutions in the front passenger’s area.

Both Troopers and the operator were all transported to Upstate University Hospital where they all were treated for exposure to the toxic vapor. Carbone was further treated for a wrist injury and glass particles in his eyes. Fike was treated for an injury to his wrist and shoulder. Both were treated and released. The driver, identified as Phillip E. Roundy, is listed in serious condition.

The investigation continues.

State police were assisted at the scene by Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, Syracuse Fire Hazmat, Lafayette Fire Department, TLC Ambulance and the state Department of Transportation.

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