5 Injured, Including 3 Greenwich Firefighters, In Crash On I-95: FD

GREENWICH, CT — Five people, including three Greenwich firefighters, were seriously injured early Thursday morning when a tractor-trailer struck a fire truck on Interstate-95 southbound, according to the Greenwich Fire Department.

Greenwich Assistant Fire Chief Charlie Lubowicki told Patch Thursday afternoon that one firefighter remained in the hospital for further evaluation, but he was expected to be released later in the day.

Around 12:40 a.m., first responders were called to a rollover crash involving a tractor-trailer on I-95 near exit 4, Lubowicki said, noting firefighters successfully extricated the driver from the cab.

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Units needed to mitigate a diesel fuel spill so the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT-DEEP) was called, Lubowicki said.

Firefighters from Engine 1 had set up on the right side of the highway by the exit 4 off-ramp to protect the scene; they put out cones and flares and had their lights on, Lubowicki said.

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Past Engine 1 were more fire trucks, tow trucks, state police and CT Department of Transportation workers, Lubowicki said.

State police opened the median breakdown lane on the other side of the highway.

Around 1:10 a.m., firefighters returned to the truck to wait for CT-DEEP to arrive.

“While they were in the vehicle rehabbing waiting for DEEP to show up, a tractor-trailer somehow made contact with them on the right side of the highway with enough force to push the 40,000-pound engine over 100 feet up the highway,” Lubowicki said.

The driver of the fire truck had to be extricated, as did the driver of the tractor-trailer and another driver in an SUV. Overall, five people were taken to area hospitals with serious, but non-life threatening injuries, according to Lubowicki.

I-95 southbound near exits 6 and 5 was closed for over six hours after the second crash.

It’s unclear if Engine 1 will be salvageable.

“There was a tremendous amount of damage to the vehicle,” Lubowicki said.

Lubowicki urged motorists to be aware of their surroundings on the roadway and to take notice of flashing lights, signs and navigation apps that warn of crashes or slow-downs ahead.

“This is obviously something that’s traumatic for members of not only the Greenwich Fire Department, but all the first responders they work with on a regular basis,” Lubowicki said. “Even if you do everything right as far as the blocking pattern and wearing reflective vests and [putting out] cones and flares, there’s a human element we can’t control and sometimes that’s one of the most dangerous things out there.”

First Selectman Fred Camillo mentioned the crash during Thursday morning’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

“It looks like we dodged a bullet, and we’re very, very lucky,” Camillo said. “It’s just a reminder that when you see our policemen and firemen around town, and EMT workers, thank them because their jobs are not easy.”

The Connecticut State Police are investigating the crash.

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