By STEVE KOBAK
Hour Staff Writer
A naked man "yelling that he was Jesus" was the catalyst for a five-vehicle accident on I-95 Northbound near exit 16 early Saturday morning that injured three people, mangled a tandem tractor-trailer truck and slowed traffic to a crawl for nearly six hours, according to Darien Police Sgt. Jeremiah P. Marron Jr.
Marron said Darien Police responded to a call regarding a nude male causing a disturbance on I-95 north at exit 14. When police arrived, they saw the man hop into a silver car. With assistance from Norwalk and State Police, Darien officers were able to pull the car over near exit 16.
While police were responding at the scene, a distracted driver apparently stopped short near exit 16 to get a better view of the incident, causing the tractor-trailer to slam its brakes, jackknife and careen into four cars before flipping over, police said.
The tractor-trailer struck a tree and turned over on its side, according to Norwalk Fire Department Deputy Chief Dave Lepus.
Norwalk and Westport firefighters responded to the accident at approximately 5:30 a.m. and began what would become a three-hour extrication process to get the driver safely out of the tractor-trailer truck.
"It was a tough extrication," Lepus said. "It took two crews to rescue him and a lot of time to get him out."
The driver's legs, arms, hand and head were pinned in the doomed vehicle, according to Lepus.
"He couldn't have done much worse but somehow he managed to stay in the void (of the truck's cab) and stay alive," he said.
Westport Assistant Fire Chief Robert Yost said the firefighters used "almost every tool" to gain access to the driver. For a while, the firefighters were only able to see the victim's elbow.
Paramedics were eventually able to crawl into the cab of the truck and begin treating the driver.
Truck wreckers assisted in lifting the wrecked tractor-trailer so that emergency crews could start treating the driver, according to Yost.
Lepus said the victim was speaking when emergency crews pulled him from the vehicle but the extent of the man's injuries is unknown. EMS trauma officials drove the victim to Norwalk Hospital.
Diesel fuel leaked from one of the tractor-trailer's ruptured fuel tanks and fire crews had to clean the fuel spill.
A road sign that was struck by the tractor-trailer fell on a Darien Police cruiser at the scene.
The accident completely closed I-95 North from exit 14 to exit 16. Two lanes on the stretch of highway were opened shortly after 11 a.m. but the right lane remained closed. All lanes of traffic were opened at noon.
The investigation is still ongoing.
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