Girl, 16, Rescued After Fiery Crash
November 16, 2004
By TRACY GORDON FOX, Courant Staff Writer
ANDOVER -- Trooper William Henderson had about 10 minutes left on his highway construction assignment on Route 6 Monday when he heard a loud explosion that became a fireball.
He ran toward the flames that were beginning to engulf a sedan and a dump truck that had collided head-on. The car was teetering on its front end, wedged between the 10-ton dump truck and another heavy construction vehicle parked along the shoulder.
Henderson saw the driver stumble out, but as he peered inside the burning car he saw an unconscious teenager trapped inside.
Quick thinking by the trooper, who used the help of some construction workers, helped prevent an explosion and saved the teenager from being burned inside the car, authorities said.
"Without putting out the fire, God only knows what could have happened," said Sgt. Stephen Ostroski, a supervisor on the scene. "Their actions prevented loss of life."
The teenager, Maria Yap, 16, of 880 Parker St., Manchester, was a passenger in a westbound car, driven by Kenny A. Rios, 18, of 22 Fenwick St., Hartford, state police said. Rios' car crossed the center line on Route 6 and collided with the oncoming dump truck just after 3:30 p.m., police said.
As flames shot up from the vehicles and from the road where large amounts of diesel fuel had spilled, Henderson tried to pull Yap out of the car, but she was trapped under the twisted metal of the crushed vehicle.
"I was a bit concerned the tanks were going to go up," Henderson said.
He ran back to his cruiser and grabbed his fire extinguisher, and put Joe Digiovanni, one of the workers who had been helping to install guardrail, to work.
"I yelled to him to use my radio and call the troop. He did that for me, which was great," Henderson said.
Digiovanni's shaky voice came over the state police radio to the Colchester barracks just before 3:40 p.m.
"Uh, yes. This is a worker on Route 6," a panicked Digiovanni shouted. "We have a car accident on Long Hill and Route 6, a bad accident. You'd better bring a fire truck and an ambulance because the person is hurt pretty bad."
Meanwhile, Henderson and several other workers put out the blaze with fire extinguishers.
When he realized he could not extricate the teenager himself, the trooper ran back to his car and called Troop K, saying, "She's still alive, but we need services, ASAP. I can't get her out of the vehicle."
The extrication proved to be difficult for Andover firefighters, who spent more than an hour gingerly cutting away the top and sides of the vehicle to remove Yap.
She was taken by Life Star medical helicopter to Hartford Hospital, where she underwent surgery late Monday night for head trauma and severe leg injuries. Rios was treated at Manchester Memorial Hospital for a minor shoulder injury, police said.
The truck, owned by Boutin & Sons Construction Co. Inc,, of Windsor, was operated by John B. Dangelo, 52, of Enfield, police said.
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11-16-2004, 11:16 AM #1
Good job (and luck!) in Columbia, CTIACOJ Canine Officer
11-17-2004, 12:40 AM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
Thats a lot of cribbing
11-17-2004, 06:46 AM #3
That's suicide 6 for ya. I think I had to drive on that road once and I didn't really want to do it again after that.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
11-17-2004, 12:01 PM #4
Gotta pay close attention on the 6.
Here's the irony with Route 6 (the "Suicide" part is wrapping up re-construction, we're in the middle of it) is it will now be wider so you have a chance to avoid accidents in front of you.
On the other hand, it'll encourage more high-speed collissions. That's what we're anticipating -- we already run an average of a one fatal-every-other-year on our length. I'm not sure the fatality rate will change, but instead of accidents where people come around a blind corner at 45mph, or you're traveling at 45mph and have no where to go when someone turns left in front of you...you'll see fewer minor accidents but more 60/70/80mph KABAMs.
BTW, Trooper Henderson is one of my Town's 2 Resident State Troopers -- i.e. the Town pays the state for him to be assigned full-time to our town. He was working an overtime construction job that day!IACOJ Canine Officer
11-17-2004, 12:09 PM #5
- Join Date
- Oct 1999
- Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
Kinda reminds me of I-35 here in Texas. Tx DOT is putting up concrete barriers in the median to prevent crossovers which has decreased the amount of serious accidents that we normally run on.NREMT-P\ Volunteer Fire Chief\Tactical Paramedic
Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.
11-18-2004, 12:15 AM #6
The other one I greatly dislike is Route 2 in the Colchester area. Sometimes I wonder what Conn DOT is thinking with these roads.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
11-20-2004, 07:53 PM #7
Good job to Trooper Henderson!
Kinda reminds me of I-35 here in Texas. Tx DOT is putting up concrete barriers in the median to prevent crossovers which has decreased the amount of serious accidents that we normally run on.
The congestion, speeders, and short entrance ramps give I-35 the reputation of a death trap here in Austin. The interstate seems to account for nearly a third of the city's traffic fatalities. Scary roadway...
11-20-2004, 08:52 PM #8
Interstates 70 and 79 intersect, merge temporarily, and split off again within our township. Furthermore, the merged 70/79 intersects with US Route 19. All of this happens within a 2.5 mile stretch smack in the middle of our business district.
Our biggest problem is cars rolled over in the wide median strips, or rolled over bridges, on top of your normal high speed collissions.
The two worst areas are the two junctions between 70 and 79. One runs north south, the other east west. So, there's all kinds of sharp round turns to merge onto the other. And of course, tractor trailers NEVER roll over, so the drivers hit the turns at 60-90mph."Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."
Safety is no accident.
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