When Leon Blumstein headed to work Wednesday morning, he never thought he’d cut the engine so soon.
“I got on the ramp to 84 and all of the sudden I heard an awful noise, a scrapping noise and a loud booming noise,” he said.
He thought his Bug rolled over a garbage can, but when he pulled over to inspect it, his car wasn’t damaged. Instead, a tractor trailer had crash-landed about 40 feet away.
“It was on its side and there was smoke coming out of it and the gas tank was off the tractor and on the grass,” Blumstein said. “Right away, I went over to see if the driver is okay and I couldn’t see him. It was dark and I decided to go down on my knees and look for him.”
The 59-year-old said the driver was hanging out of the cab. Blumstein struggled to pull him out.
“I told him, ‘well you are going to have to push with your feet and I’ll pull with my hands and we’ll get you out of here,’ and that’s how we got him out,” he said.
Don’t go calling the West Hartford man a hero – Blumstein said this was a spur of the moment, brotherhood kind of thing.
“I am a truck driver also and that’s the first thing I thought of is, ‘Hey, he’s a truck driver, I’m a truck driver and he’s in there because I didn’t seem him outside,’ so I just ran to help him,” Blumstein said.
The paramedics took over soon after and Blumstein continued his commute. He said he spend the rest of the day wondering if he’ll ever see that man again.
“I want to see if he’s OK and just tell him, ‘Hey, what do you remember?’ I want to ask him what he remembers. And I would tell him the story of what happened,” said Blumstein.
The driver was taken to St. Francis Hospital. As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, he is in stable condition.