Tractor-trailer accident causes delays on LIE

August 29, 2008 2:45:29 PM PDT
GMA's Sam Champion is recovering from minor injuries suffered in an accident on the LIE. Champion was headed to eastern Long Island after Friday's show when the accident happened.

He was a passenger in the car that was hit by a tractor-trailer as it jackknifed on the eastbound Long Island Expressway just before 11:00.

"I was looking down and Brian, the driver said 'Look out.' He hit the brakes really hard. You could see the front of the truck coming at the car," Champion told Eyewitness News. "I remember thinking, 'This is bad. This is bad. This is really, really bad."

The accident happened between Exit 39, Glen Cove Road, and Exit 40, Jericho Turnpike, in Old Westbury.

Champion said several other vehicles also crashed around them, but police said no one was injured.

Champion and his driver, who were wearing seat belts, suffered some minor scrapes and bruises, but more than anything they were in shock, he said.

"It was scary, but an amazing relief that we were both okay," he said.

Champion, 47, was weather anchor at Eyewitness News from 1988 until 2006. He has been weather anchor for Good Morning America since August 2006. He is headed to the Gulf Coast on Sunday to cover Hurricane Gustav.

The accident caused an afternoon of delays for drivers on the LIE. The eastbound lanes were closed for some four hours as state DOT workers cleaned up the jackknifed tractor-trailer and the fuel spill.

The westbound HOV lane was also closed.

By 2:30 p.m., the tractor-trailer had been removed from the roadway. Workers were sanding the road.


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