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Trucker killed as car strikes tractor-trailer in I-95 rest area

Updated 3:01 pm, Saturday, December 1, 2012
  • The tangled wreck of a car that collided early Saturday with a tractor-trailer truck in the Fairfield rest area of northbound Interstate 95.  Fairfield CT 12/1/12 Photo: Fairfield Fire Department / Fairfield Citizen contributed
    The tangled wreck of a car that collided early Saturday with a tractor-trailer truck in the Fairfield rest area of northbound Interstate 95. Fairfield CT 12/1/12 Photo: Fairfield Fire Department

 

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A North Carolina truck driver was killed early Saturday when a compact car careened into his tractor-trailer cab parked in the northbound rest area of Interstate 95 here.

Mitchell G. Blankenship, 52, of Boomer, N.C., was asleep in the in the "sleeper berth" of his truck at the time of the crash, and died from injuries he suffered in the collision, according to State Police.

Firefighters dispatched to the scene about 2:30 a.m. Saturday used hydraulic tools to extricate Blankenship from his Freightliner tractor-trailer cab, as well as the two adults from the 2009 Toyota Corolla that crashed into the truck -- driver Kevin Rojas, 25, of Stamford, and his front-seat passenger, Esther Gonzalez, also 25, of the Bronx, N.Y.

Troopers said the car, which was traveling north on I-95, entered the rest area, rolled over, became airborne and then smashed against the side of the truck's cab.

Blankenship was transported by an AMR ambulance to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, where he was pronounced dead.

The occupants of the car, which was totalled, were taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where they were treated and released. Rojas suffered from a cut to his head, and Gonzalez survived the ordeal relatively unscathed, according to reports. Both were wearing their safety belts. The car was owned by Janet Sena of Stamford, police said.

Two fire engines, two ladder companies and the shift commander were dispatched by Fairfield fire-rescue to the scene, as well as several ambulances.

"The vehicles were severely damaged and added to the challenge of gaining access to the victims at this scene," Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bisson said in a release issued after the incident.

The accident remains under investigation by State Police.