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Investigators: Smoking Plow Truck Set Off Fatal New York Thruway Crash

Emergency crews on the scene of a deadly multi-car crash on the New York State Thruway on Feb. 26, 2014. (Credit: CBS 2)

Emergency crews on the scene of a deadly multi-car crash on the New York State Thruway on Feb. 26, 2014. (Credit: CBS 2)

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WOODBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A deadly seven-vehicle pileup on the New York State Thruway in Orange County was set off when a plow truck began spewing smoke, investigators said.

The accident, which involved a Thruway plow truck, two tractor-trailers and four cars, happened around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday on Interstate 87 near exit 16 in Woodbury, police said.

Investigators said it all started when the plow truck pulled on to the shoulder after the engine compartment began smoking.

A car swerved out of the lane due to limited visibility from the smoke and struck a third passenger vehicle, investigators said.

A fourth car traveling north in the left lane then sideswiped the blade of the plow truck, investigators said.

Then a 2007 Toyota Prius driven by 53-year-old Mark Becker of Hillsdale, NJ slowed in the right lane. A tractor-trailer then rear-ended the Prius, pushing the car into the back of another tractor-trailer, investigators said.

Becker was pronounced dead at the scene.

Six other people were taken to St. Lukes Cornwall Hospital where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

No arrests were made.

The investigation is ongoing.

The crash blocked all northbound lanes between exits 16 and 17 for nearly six hours.

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