Family whose home was destroyed by tractor-trailer begins recovery

Local News

Jessie Powers was playing a video game in his room Tuesday when a tractor-trailer plowed into his family’s house on Andover Street in Ludlow.

“It was a big shake, like an earthquake and a hurricane, at once,” Powers, 17, said.

The truck destroyed much of the first floor, but it also made contact with the second-floor room where where Jessie was.

“Not as bad as downstairs, but upstairs, my room got the worst of it,” he said.

Jessie wasn’t hurt, but his sister, Kaitlyn, suffered facial lacerations, a broken arm and bruises. 

Kaitlyn and the driver of the tractor-trailer were both taken to Springfield Hospital.

Jesse said the family’s Nissan — now wrecked outside — was brand-new not too long before the crash.

“It was only a month old,” he said.

Ludlow Police say the tractor-trailer lost its brakes while going downhill and overturned, spilling the wooden pallets it was carrying and hitting both Powers’ house and the house next door.

Officers also say it’s the third time in the last 14 years an out-of-control truck has hit those two houses. The terrain on Route 100 leading to the pair of homes is notorious enough to earn a local nickname.

“They come off of what we call Terrible Mountain,” Ludlow Police Det. Sgt. Richard King said. “They lose their brakes — they either get too hot or they lose their brakes altogether, and we get a runaway tractor trailer.”

Police are still investigating the circumstances of the crash, but they say the other two crashes didn’t have anything to do with the road.

“I believe the prior incidents had to do with defective equipment on the vehicles,” Det. Sgt. King said. “We have thousands of vehicles that come down that mountain with no problem.”

Black River Good Neighbor Services of Ludlow is helping the Powers family with shelter, food and clothing.

“So far, it’s not the worst,” Jessie said. “It could have been a lot more worse.”

A friend of the Powers family has created a GoFundMe page to help with the extra expenses.

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