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Tractor-trailer drivers charged in Potsdam accident

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POTSDAM— Both tractor-trailer drivers involved in a motorcycle accident Thursday received two charges Tuesday, according to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

The motorcyclist, Ronald L. Swinyer, 50, of Newton Falls, was traveling north on Route 72 behind another motorcyclist, police said. He was struck by a southbound tractor-trailer, driven by Jesse J. Ferguson, 28, of 13 Ayres Road, that had driven into the opposite lane to pass another tractor-trailer parked on the side of the road.

The lead motorcyclist swerved out of the way, but Mr. Swinyer was ejected from his bike and suffered life-threatening injuries after crashing into the trailer section of Mr. Ferguson’s truck.

“When you’re attempting to make a pass, you have to do it at an appropriate speed,” said Detective Sgt. Brooks J. Bigwarfe, who is the leading investigator. “Because of the hill crest and the vehicle where it was, it was unsafe for (the tractor-trailer driver) to pass right there.”

Mr. Ferguson was cited with unreasonable speed/special hazard and unsafe passing. Steven Capone, 56, of Knapps Station Road, Norwood, was charged with illegal parking facing oncoming traffic and stopping/standing/parking on a highway. Police said Mr. Capone had stopped to load materials into his truck.

Detective Sgt. Bigwarfe said that Mr. Swinyer remains in critical condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt., and that he was told Tuesday morning that the motorcyclist was “showing improvement.”

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