WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) - One person has died and two others were injured during fiery crash that involved two tractor trailers on the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield.

The Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department said it happened near Pawtucket Avenue around 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

Eyewitnesses saw thick, black smoke billowing from the scene.

State police reported that Route 15 north and south were closed by Arrow Road because of it. As of 10 p.m., police said both directions of the roadway had reopened. 

Troopers said one tractor trailer crashed into another. 

Police said one person was pronounced dead on the scene and two others were brought to Hartford Hospital with serious injuries. The identities of the victims have not been released at this time. 

Wethersfield police and firefighters held a news conference on Monday morning.

"There was some serious fire with this accident," said Lt. Michael Connolly, Wethersfield police. "We had a lot of fuel spilling into the storm drains, which was causing some hazardous situations in other drains, which fire going up in the air."

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded.

DEEP officials said various petroleum products, including diesel fuel, hydraulic oil, gasoline, and motor oil were released during the crash. 

Nearby catch basins and a brook were significantly impacted, although the quantities released are unknown at this time. 

Wethersfield police said they also have a unit on scene to help with the fuel cleanup.

Drone 3 captured aerial footage of the aftermath:

Power outages were reported in the area. Eversource had to shut the power off.

"Many businesses are without power are going to be closed," Connolly said. 

According to police, a Herb Holden Trucking tractor trailer was stopped on the right side of the road due to a mechanical issue. Two employees from the company were working on it.

The driver of the second second tractor trailer, from Stan Koch and Sons Trucking of Minnesota, slammed into the first and continued into a business driveway.

Both vehicles became engulfed in flames.

A Herb Holden employee was killed.

The other two people involved were hospitalized with serious injuries. 

"We don’t get this kind of thing that often," said Capt. Mark Mahder, Wethersfield Fire Department. "It was very challenging. Chief Bailey immediately recognized the scope of this and called for resources immediately. We had crews responding to a couple buildings just down the street where fire was popping up out of the storm drains to cover those buildings. We evacuated several businesses, all of this was within a period of 15 minutes, it was a very active scene early."

For real-time traffic updates, check the Channel 3 traffic map here.

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(1) comment


Sounds like distracted driving for the one that hit the first. It's hard to miss a tractor trailer in that straight section of roadway.

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