State police said a Naugatuck man stole a vehicle and crashed it into a gasoline tanker in Southington on Tuesday, prompting a massive fire that shut down a portion I-691 for several hours.
Brian K. Miele, 43, of 9 Bradley St., was taken into custody after police said he was able to escape the enflamed vehicle and flee on foot in the area of Route 322 and Route 10, where the crash happened. After being apprhended, Miele was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.
The suspect was charged with first-degree larceny, reckless driving, disobeying the signal of an officer, driving under the influence, interfering with an officer and driving with a suspended license. He was held on a $25,000 bond and was due to appear in Waterbury Superior Court today.
, at 3:30 p.m. Southington police got a call of a car accident at the intersection of Route 322, also known as the Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, and Route 10. When first responders got to the scene, they found a tractor-trailer, full of 8,600 gallons of fuel, on fire.
Officials immediately closed the area down and nearby residents were evacuated, Southington Patch reported. Some electrical wires also came down, causing roughly 1,000 nearby homes and businesses to lose power.
The Record Journal newspaper in Meriden reported that the vehicle in the crash was allegedly stolen in Woodbury. The newspaper also reported that the Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike was closed for 13 hours following the fire, which raged for nearly two hours before being successfully extinguished.
Miele has a lengthy criminal record for charges such as driving under the influence, interfering with an officer and reckless endangerment. He also has pending criminal cases for reckless endangerment, larceny and narcotics possession, according to the state Judicial Branch.