South Windsor Volunteer Firefighter Rescues Driver from Burning Car in North Haven

An South Windsor volunteer firefighter is being credited with rescuing a driver from a burning car after an accident on Route 15 in North Haven Sunday. 

North Haven fire officials said they were called to Route 15 north near exit 63 around 6:30 a.m. Callers reported a car had crashed into a tree and caught fire with the occupants still inside.

When firefighters arrived they discovered both occupants outside the car and the vehicle fully engulfed in flames. Fire officials said a volunteer firefighter from South Windsor was driving in the area when he saw the accident and stopped to help. The driver, later identifed as Sandeep Ahuja, 27, of Manchester, was trapped inside the car, so the firefighter broke the window with a tire jack and pulled the driver to safety. The passenger,  Rakesh Singh, 31, of Hartford, was able to escape on his own.

North Haven firefighters treated the victims on scene. Ahuja suffered serious injuries and was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment. He is expected to recover. Rakesh reported minor injuries.

"We're extremely grateful to the volunteer firefighter who stopped to assist with this serious car crash," Chief Januszewski said in a press release. "His quick actions saved a person's life. I commend his actions and the work by North Haven firefighters this morning."

The South Windsor Fire Department identified the firefighter as Jared Pelletier.

Pelletier said via email that he was one of several motorists who stopped and assisted with the rescue.

"Going on my 6th year in the fire service, I did what was expected of me in this situation; but the others went above and beyond being just a Good Samaritan - the outcome may not have been the same had they not also stopped to help," he wrote in an email. "I wish the driver well and hope he recovers quickly, and extend my thanks to those others that assisted!" 

Connecticut State police are investigating the crash.

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