Fiery truck vs. car crash on I-95 in Fairfield hospitalizes two
Updated 4:28 pm, Thursday, April 21, 2011
A tractor-trailer cab was consumed by flames Wednesday night after the truck and a car collided on Interstate 95 in Fairfield, sending two people to the hospital and shutting down the highway.
The vehicles collided about 9:30 p.m. between I-95's northbound Exits 24 and 23, causing the truck's fuel tank to rupture and burst into flames, according to firefighters. The flames not only engulfed the truck cab, but ignited in the road's storm drains from a spill of the truck's diesel fuel.
"The intense heat from the burning diesel fuel in the storm drains caused the concrete median to explode into pieces across all three lanes of the highway making the scene very dangerous for all emergency responders and bystanders," Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bisson said in a statement.
The truck driver -- Carlos Garcia, 42, of Brooklyn, N.Y. -- was initially believed to be trapped in the burning vehicle, prompting Fairfield firefighters to attack the fire using foam designed to suppress flammable vapors and launch a search for the driver. However, the truck driver escaped the wreck on his own, but was injured.
Garcia was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for treatment, along with the driver of the car -- Aeliya Raza, 27, of Darien, according to firefighters. Raza was treated and released early Thursday and Garcia was expected to be released from the hospital by midday Thursday, according to Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello.
About 75 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the highway surface and down the storm drains, requiring additional cleanup by fire and environmental crews.
The truck was hauling video equipment, which firefighters said was exposed to heat and smoke from the cab fire.
Four Fairfield fire engines, a ladder truck and the shift commander were dispatched to the scene. The last fire unit cleared the scene about 11:15 p.m.
State Police are investigating the crash.