A 40-year-old Stamford man was killed late Wednesday when his car slammed into the back of a parked tractor-trailer truck and the side of a Cadillac SUV in an Interstate 95 rest stop in Fairfield.
Joseph Pierson of Congress Street in Stamford died Wednesday night when his Nissan Sentra struck the right rear of a tractor-trailer that State Police said was improperly parked on the left shoulder of the entrance ramp to the southbound rest area and then the left side of the SUV also entering the rest area.
Pierson's car ended up under the truck, and Fairfield firefighters extricated him from the wreckage. He was pronounced dead at the scene, State Police said.
The fatal crash -- the second between a truck and car in an I-95 rest stop here less than last two weeks -- took place at 10:50 p.m. Wednesday at the entrance to the rest area just past southbound Exit 21.
Pierson had been driving in the center lane and crossed directly into the rest area entrance, passing a 2007 Cadillac Escalade SUV and into the tractor-trailer owned by Metropolitan Trucking Inc. of Bolingbrook, Ill. The truck driver, Joseph Eutsey, 39, of Middletown, N.Y., told troopers that he had parked so that he could take a break in the sleeper unit.
Eutsey's truck was in a no-parking area that was clearly marked, on the left shoulder of the entrance ramp, police said.
Firefighters arriving at the scene found Pierson trapped in his car, and said that he apparently had already died from injuries suffered in the collision. Although the airbag had deployed, the accident report indicates that Pierson was not wearing a seat belt.
There were no other injuries in the crash. Frederick Walker, 61, of Cambria Heights, N.Y., was driving the SUV, which had left side damage from its collision with the Sentra.
State Police said witnesses confirmed the sequence of events.
Eutsey's truck was believed to be hauling flammable liquids, and fire personnel ensured there were no leaks that could have posed the threat of a fire or health hazards.
"This is the second fatal vehicle accident in the past two weeks where a tractor-trailer parked in the rest area were struck by passenger cars from the highway," Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bisson said in a statement issued after the accident.
Firefighters were on the scene until 1 a.m., Assistant Chief Chris Tracy said. The accident remains under investigation by State Police.
On Dec. 1, truck driver Mitchell G. Blankenship, 52, of Boomer, N.C., was asleep in the "sleeper berth" of his vehicle in the local northbound I-95 rest stop when it was struck by a car that careened off the highway. He later died from injuries he suffered in the crash.