A 57-year-old man was killed early Friday morning while changing a flat tire on a tractor-trailer truck, State Police said.
The victim was identified as Henry Wagmeister, of Weston. He was the owner of Truck Tire Sales and Service of Stamford.
The accident that happened at 2:40 a.m. between Exits 2 and 3, closed all northbound lanes for more than five hours Friday.
Police said Landy Narcisse-para, 25, the tractor trailer driver, was standing at the driver’s side front corner of the vehicle, while Wagmeister was changing a flat tire at the rear of the vehicle.
According to police, a third vehicle then traveled into the right shoulder and struck the rear of the service truck, pushing it into Wagmeister.
That vehicle then veered across all three travel lanes and struck the median Jersey barrier. Wagmeister was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said Narcisse-para was struck with debris from the collision.
At 8 a.m., the state Department of Transportation reported that the accident scene has been “cleared,” but there were still significant delays in both directions. Northbound backups stretched several miles into Rye, N.Y.
By 10 a.m. all lanes were reopened and traffic was moving through the area.
All northbound lanes were closed for several hours so state police could conduct their their investigation into the fatal crash.
Traffic was detoured off Exit 2 onto Route 1 and redirected to I-95.
Highway alert signs in Connecticut and in New York have been warning truckers to take alternative routes.
Ironically, the accident and lane closures come 30 years to the day of the Mianus Bridge collapse in Greenwich. Friday morning’s accident happened a short distance from the bridge.
On June 28, 1983, the northbound deck fell out of the Mianus River bridge collapsed. Two tractor-trailers and one car fell with the bridge deck, and another car drove off into the void. Three people died, and three others were seriously injured.
Thirty years ago, the Fairfield County section of Interstate 95 had 90,000 vehicles pass through every day. Today it’s more like 130,000 to 200,000.
The 1983 accident happened at 1:30 a.m.. If is happened during rush hour, it’s likely more people might have been killed or hurt.
After the Mianus collapse, truck and car traffic had to be detoured off I-95 into Greenwich and neighboring Port Chester, N.Y., creating a massive blockage in one of the nation’s biggest arteries of commerce for months. A temporary span was established over the gaping hole in the bridge, allowing cars to go over, but trucks had to use U.S. Route 1 until the permanent repairs were made.