Updated at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday
WILTON, Conn. – A Norwalk man was in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital for treatment of burns and other injuries after he was pulled from his burning car in an accident early Tuesday evening.
Willie Singleton, 52, of 22 Center St., was found in his 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass off the road in the woods off Hurlbutt Street near Maplewood Lane about 6:20 p.m. Tuesday, police said. Singleton's vehicle was traveling north on Hurlbutt Street near Maplewood Lane and went off the east shoulder, struck a tree, rolled on its left side and caught fire, police said.
The car was was engulfed in flames when officers arrived, police said. They initially could not get Singleton out because of the intense heat. The flames continued to intensify even as officers used fire extinguishers to suppress the fire to reach Singleton. Wilton firefighters arrived and used fire extinguishers and hoses. Singleton was pulled from the burning vehicle and taken to a safe area for treatment before being transported to Norwalk Hospital, police said.
Singleton was later transferred to the Bridgeport Hospital burn unit for treatment. Wilton Police Sgt. Thomas Tunney, the first officer to arrive, was treated on the scene by Wilton EMS for minor injuries.
"Being one of the police officers on scene shortly after the driver was pulled from his car, I can tell you that this was a very dangerous situation for all of our emergency services employees who were on scene and some who put their own safety in jeopardy as they struggled to pull the driver from the burning car," Wilton Police Chief Michael Lombardo said.
Police were investigating the cause of the accident.