Off-duty firefighter hit, killed on I-91 during 5-vehicle crash
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – State police say they are asking for witnesses after an off-duty New Haven firefighter was struck and killed on Interstate 91 Wednesday.
Officers identified the victim as 27-year-old Thomas Mieles.
New Haven’s fire chief released a statement Thursday morning saying Mieles had just joined the department in January.
“It is with great sadness in our hearts that the New Haven Fire Department announces the passing of Firefighter Thomas Mieles,” said Chief John Alston. “Firefighter Mieles, a New Haven resident, fulfilled his dream of becoming a New Haven firefighter, joining the department this year on January 12, 2022.”
State police said the Mieles’ vehicle first became disabled on I-91 north in the area of Exit 8 in New Haven.
A second and third driver stopped directly in front of Mieles in the left lane to help him around 9:40 p.m
A fourth driver heading north in the left lane approached the three stopped vehicles.
Meanwhile, a fifth driver, also driving north, was in the middle left lane.
State police said a fourth driver struck Mieles’ vehicle, which pushed him into the back of the other driver’s vehicle.
The fourth vehicle then continued forward and struck the driver’s side of the driver’s side of the fifth vehicle and struck the passenger side of the third vehicle.
After being pulled over, the fifth driver’s vehicle entered the left lane and struck Mieles.
Mieles suffered life-threatening injuries. State police said he was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Minor injuries were reported to the drivers of the second, third and fourth vehicles.
Anyone with information or dash cam video is asked to contact state police at 203-393-4200.
“Firefighter Mieles’ current assignment was to protect the neighborhood where he lived at Engine 10 of the Lombard Fire Station,” Alston said. “All department flags will be flown at half-staff, in honor of his service to our city. We ask for your kind thoughts and prayers, during this time of bereavement, for his family, friends and members of the department as they mourn this tragic loss.”
Alston said they never in their wildest dreams realized that the person they needed to save would be one of their own.
“It was a very difficult time for our department,” he said.
He said Mieles is proud to protect the neighborhood where he grew up.
His death was another difficult chapter for a department that has lost members in the last three consecutive rookie classes.
“Will McMillian in the ’61 class, Ricardo Torres in the ’62 class, and now Thomas Mieles in the ’63 class,” Alston said. “It’s a young department that has a lot to deal with.”
Alston said Mieles left behind his family, fiancé and Engine 10 with a broken heart.
“[He] he loved his job,” said Ibrahim Cheek, a New Haven firefighter. “Truly a kind hearted person.”
Comfort dogs were brought in not only to support the firefighters at Mieles’ station, but the entire department.
State police said they are asking for witnesses after a New Haven man was struck and killed on Interstate 91 Wednesday.
Copyright 2022 WFSB. All rights reserved.
#Offduty #firefighter #hit #killed #I91 #5vehicle #crash