Fire crews, state police save trapped driver after Merritt crash

Firefighters from the Nichols and Trumbull Center Fire Departments helped rescue a trapped female driver after her car went off the Merritt Parkway southbound near exit 52 and tumbled down a 60-foot embankment at 3:17 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 22.

According to Dave DeLibro, Public Information Officer Trumbull Volunteer Fire Company, the vehicle came to a stop against a tree with its roof down and wheels up.

"Crews removed the roof and the passenger seat to access the victim," DeLibro said.

"The biggest challenge was getting all the necessary rescue equipment lowered down because the car was more than 100 feet off the road, and down this very steep terrain," he added. "There was heavy brush down the embankment with lots of fallen trees that made things pretty difficult."

In addition to the local fire crews, state police, Trumbull EMS, and officers from the Trumbull Police Department helped perform the challenging extrication.

DeLibro said that firefighters used reciprocating saws and O-cutters to cut through the roof of the vehicle.

He added that a Stokes basket was used to transport the driver up the hill once she had been removed from the vehicle.

"Every accident is unique," he said. "No two are the same and the terrain in this particular accident added an extra layer of complexity.

"There are spots all over Trumbull and all over this state where cars can end up in strange places, but this was definitely an added challenge to all the first responders," he added.

The rescue crews got a well-earned thanks from the supposed victim late Sunday night.

"I wanna Thank all the responders!!!" wrote Carmen Sisi Cotto on the Facebook page for Trumbull Volunteer Fire Company, No. 1. "I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for you guys!!!

"It's a miracle that I'm alive but God was Definitely with me!!!" she added. "Again, thank you so much, I'll deal with the broken bones, as opposed to my family having to deal with a tragedy!!!"

According to the company's original post, the removal took about 45 minutes.