Tractor trailer driver speaks out after surviving I-95 tanker fire under overpass in Norwalk, CT

Marcus Solis Image
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Tractor trailer driver speaks out after fiery crash on I-95 in Norwalk
Marcus Solis speaks with the tractor trailer driver who survived the fiery crash on the I-95 in Norwalk, Connecticut.

NORWALK, Connecticut (WABC) -- Hazeth Aracena is back on the road less than a week after his tractor trailer went up in flames, one of the three vehicles in the fiery crash on the I-95 in Norwalk last Thursday morning.

"The first thing that I see was the Camaro burning completely in the back," Aracena said.

Aracena was headed to Philadelphia to pick up a load for work when he swerved to avoid that Camaro that cut him off. He would then be hit by a gasoline tanker, which ripped apart.

"It was leaking oil on the floor, it was burning already and it started burning in the back," he said.

The father of six sprang into action, running to help the driver of the car which was now starting to burn. Aracena said he grabbed the driver, put him on his shoulder and took him out of the burning car.

"He's not an emergency responder, he's not a police officer, he's not a firefighter. He's just an everyday man, and he saw a fellow citizen who was in distress," said Dennis Bradley, Aracena's attorney.

Bradley says his client was hurt physically, including injuring a knee, in addition to suffering emotional trauma.

"My client was basically ran into by both the gas freightliner and the car. So, totally just a victim of the accident himself, but nevertheless he put all of that to the side to respond and aide someone in need," Bradley said.

Crews worked through the weekend to demolish the overpass, which was damaged beyond repair. The I-95 reopened Sunday morning, and Aracena is driving again, albeit more cautiously.

"I'm kind of nervous. Before I was looking everywhere. Now, I'm more panic," Aracena said.

While Aracena's lawyer will try and determine if anyone can be held liable for the crash, the police investigation continues to see if anyone will be charged criminally.

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Janice Yu reports the latest details from Rego Park.


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