Firefighters Save Driver From Burning Truck

New Haven firefighters Eddie Taylor and Mike Milano were driving on Interstate-91 South through Hartford Monday, on their way back to from a hazardous materials training session in Windsor Locks, when a trash-hauling rig in front of them suddenly went out of control and slammed into a guardrail.

The truck veered across the highway into the rail and burst into flames, the men told the New Haven Register. It flipped and went down a slight embankment near Exit 29A.

“It sounded like thunder when the truck hit the guardrail,” Milano told the newspaper. “We knew it was a serious situation. The time frame is really small. If you think, it’s too late. ”

The truck was on its side. The driver, Thomas Petroclone, 45, of Plainville, was standing up in the burning cab trying to climb out the window, the paper reports.

Taylor and Milano tried to pull him out, but without their gear, the smoke became too much, the paper reports.

Then, Petroclone punched through the windshield. The firefighters pulled him away just in time. Moments after getting away from the truck, the tanks of diesel fuel began exploding, the paper reports.

Petroclone is at Bridgeport Hospital in critical condition with extensive burns, according to state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance.

Copyright NHREG - New Haven Register
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