Mass. state trooper saves truck driver from wreck
FALL RIVER, Mass. (WHDH) -- A tractor truck crashed and burst into flames on a major highway in Fall River and the driver is alive because of a quick thinking Massachusetts state trooper. The fire was so intense the trooper could not pull her cruiser up to the wreck.
The driver of the truck was listed in serious condition Monday morning.
The Department of Transportation was on scene Sunday night assessing the damage to the roadway. Officials said there was concern there was damage to two of the structural support beams.
The man involved was driving a tractor truck with no trailer attached when he crashed into the Jersey barrier on Rt. 79 southbound. His truck finally came to a stop resting on one of the steel support beams. The heat of the fire warped the heavy metal support structure.
“Most of it will have to be reinforced with steel plates welded in,” Frank Dipaola, with the Department of Transportation, said. “We’re not 100% certain that the steel can still carry that load safely without some reinforcement.”
When the first state trooper arrived on scene she had to park some distance away from the wreck and run toward it. She was able to pull the driver from the truck just as the fire was getting out of control.
Witnesses who live nearby said it sounded like the truck’s gas tank exploded.
“I heard the big bang and I’m like what is that because I thought it was the cannons getting shot off but I’m like alright, opened up the screen and saw it. All I saw was black smoke and the fire, it was bad,” said Ashley Nye, a witness.
Because of concerns about the structural integrity of the bridge, Rt. 79 southbound was shut down for the foreseeable future.
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