State police ticketed the driver of a tractor-trailer that drifted off the Thruway in Cheektowaga this morning and caught fire after being wedged under an underpass.
The wreck, at 9:04 a.m., forced police to close the highway at Exit 53 and reroute traffic onto Interstate 190 for two hours. Troopers opened one of the lanes but kept two others closed until nearly 5 p.m., so the truck could be removed.
Police said no other vehicle was involved as the truck, a 2012 Freightliner operated by Umaru Gabon, 39, of Los Angeles, drove off the right shoulder of I-90, striking several sections of guide rail and a concrete barrier before coming to rest under the I-190 overpass.
Gabon was charged with moving from a lane unsafely. He and his passenger escaped before flames engulfed the truck, troopers said. Both were treated for minor injuries at Erie County Medical Center. Seneca Hose and the Doyle Volunteer Fire Department extinguished the fire.