Good Samaritans rescue driver from burning truck

L.I.E. closed for five hours
January 7, 2008 3:30:07 PM PST
Police are crediting two Good Samaritans with saving the life of a truck driver involved in the tanker crash and fire on the Long Island Expressway. Suffolk County police say the two men pulled the driver from his burning vehicle.

An 18-wheeler was apparently cut off while heading west, authorities said. It then hit a pickup truck, plowed into a median wall and overturned.

The impact tore a 100-yard gash in the chain-link wall, and the tank was thrown onto the eastbound side of the highway.

The tractor stayed on the westbound side, where one of its fuel tanks broke open and caught fire. The tanker part of the truck was empty, increasing the possibility of an explosion. Firefighters extinguished the fire with water and foam.

Police say the tanker and pickup drivers suffered minor injuries.

The expressway reopened after being closed for more than five hours.