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Motorcyclist suffers severe injuries in Potsdam collision

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POTSDAM — A motorcyclist who crashed into a tractor-trailer about 3:45 p.m. Thursday suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington Vt., according to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

Ronald L. Swinyer, 50, Newton Falls, was northbound on Route 72 behind another motorcyclist, police said. A southbound tractor-trailer driven by Jesse J. Ferguson, 28, of 13 Ayres Road, went into the opposite lane in order to pass another tractor-trailer, which was parked on the side of the road, police said.

The lead motorcyclist was able to swerve out of the way, but Mr. Swinyer crashed into the trailer section of Mr. Ferguson’s truck and was ejected from his bike.

He “suffered heavy body and leg trauma,” according to Detective Sgt. Brooks J. Bigwarfe, and was taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital. He then was transferred to Fletcher Allen.

Detective Sgt. Bigwarfe said police were to remain on the scene until at least 11 p.m. Thursday, taking measurements and tracking skid marks left by the swerving vehicles.

“Charges will not be levied until at least tomorrow,” Detective Sgt. Bigwarfe said Thursday at the accident scene.

Also responding to the scene were state police, the Potsdam Fire Department and the Potsdam Rescue Squad.

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