Witnesses say drivers are lucky to be alive after fiery tractor trailer crash in Sardinia

SARDINIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — “He almost died today it was a pretty intense fire and I don’t know what was burning but there was 100 gallons of diesel fuel right above the fire,” said Jim Wieberg, witness.

Jim Weiberg is one of several people who ran toward the tractor trailer that was hauling milk with buckets of water while it was up in flames.

“We took a fire extinguisher out of my truck and attempted to put out the fire and then the truck was carrying milk so when the hatch purged the milk came out and quite a few gallons so they grabbed buckets from the front lawn of the house and they were throwing milk on the fire,” said Wieberg.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office says the tractor trailer was traveling north on Route 16 when a car traveling west on Genessee Road failed to yield right away at the intersection. That’s when the tractor trailer hit the car, overturned and burst into flames.

“I’m just still astounded that this individual pulled out in front of a semi going 45 miles per hour,” said Weiberg.

“The driver of the tractor trailer did his best to avoid the collision with negative results he did strike and impact the car, to the luck of the drive in the passenger car the impact was more towards the end department of the car she wasn’t extensively injured,” said Sergeant Eric Kaderli, Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

“He just reacted to save that girls life by trying to swerve or else he would’ve killed her,” said Wieberg.

The tractor trailer driver was stuck in the burning truck for 48 minutes before rescue crews got him out. He had a lower body injury and was transported by Mercy Flight to ECMC. Officials say his injuries are not life threatening.

Crews spent hours repairing electric poles that were damaged through the accident.

Sergeant Kaderli says he does expect some sort of charge against the female driver. The accident is being investigated by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

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