Truck driver in fiery BQE collision dies

Collision snarled morning traffic for hours
May 22, 2008 12:35:48 PM PDT
A truck driver died in a horrific crash on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway this morning, despite a heroic rescue attempt by two other drivers who escaped their crushed cars and pulled him from his wreckage. The incident happened when the 65-year-old truck driver lost control of his rig, hauling dried cement, on the Brooklyn-bound Brooklyn Queens Expressway, at Morgan Avenue, at around 5:45 a.m.

The truck swerved reportedly across the road, crushing a Lincoln Town Car into the center divider.

Officials say the cab portion of the truck hurtled over the divider, where it slammed into a Oldsmobile Cutlass traveling in the opposite lanes.

The force of the collision set all three vehicles ablaze, sending a large plume of smoke into the air.

Eyewitness News is told the drivers of the two cars miraculously escaped their wrecked vehicles and rushed to aid the truck driver.

They pulled him to safety from the flames, and emergency workers rushed him to Elmhurst Hospital Center. Doctors attempted to save his life, but the 65-year-old Bethpage man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Officials say the 25-year-old driver of the Lincoln Town Car and the 38-year-old driver of the Cutlass, both Brooklyn, residents were taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

The Brooklyn Queens Expressway was shut in both directions, creating traffic delays that spread across the city.

Drivers were stranded in both directions on the highway, and stood outside their vehicles for hours watching the cleanup.