NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A volunteer firefighter rescued a driver from a burning car on the Merritt Parkway in North Haven Sunday morning.
Police say two males were traveling on Route 15 northbound around 6:30 a.m., when their car crashed into a tree and caught fire by exit 63. The passenger was able to get out of the car safely but the driver was trapped inside the burning vehicle.
Police say they received multiple 911 calls and North Haven firefighters were dispatched to the scene. Prior to fire crews responding, a volunteer firefighter from the South Windsor Fire Department was traveling on the south side of Route 15 when he saw the flames and pulled over. The firefighter then used a tire jack to break the window and pull the driver out of the car to safety.
“We’re extremely grateful to the volunteer firefighter who stopped to assist with this serious car crash,” Chief Paul Januszewski said. “His quick actions saved a person’s life. I commend his actions and the work by North Haven firefighters this morning.”
North Haven firefighters treated both occupants at the scene. The passenger suffered minor injuries but the driver was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital with serious injuries.
There is no word on the cause of the crash or the identities of the people involved. The incident remains under investigation by state police.
The volunteer firefighter was later identified as Jared Pelletier and he released the following statement:
Regarding the accident this morning on Rt15 in North Haven, I’d just like to say that I appreciate the recognition, however there were several other motorists that stopped to assist with the rescue. Going on my 6th year in the fire service, I did what was expected of me in this situation; but the others went above and beyond being just a Good Samaritan – the outcome may not have been the same had they not also stopped to help. I wish the driver well and hope he recovers quickly, and extend my thanks to those others that assisted!”