80-year-old Greenfield man hospitalized after Whately vehicle fire


Staff Writer

Published: 06-05-2023 8:51 PM

WHATELY — An 80-year-old Greenfield man was hospitalized with minor injuries after the vehicle he was driving caught fire Monday afternoon.

State Police responded to reports of a vehicle fire on Interstate 91 southbound near mile marker 33 at around 1:50 p.m. on Monday, according to State Police Trooper James DeAngelis. First responders found a 2011 Hyundai Accent on fire in the passing lane with its driver, the vehicle’s sole occupant, still inside. DeAngelis said “efforts immediately were undertaken to assist the driver out of the vehicle,” while Whately Fire Chief John Hannum added that South County EMS personnel helped the man out of the car prior to firefighters’ arrival.

“Within a few minutes of the operator being removed from the vehicle,” DeAngelis wrote in an email, “it became fully engulfed in flames.”

In addition to the Whately Fire Department, the South Deerfield Fire District also responded.

Hannum said he believes the driver had suffered a medical emergency. A trail of fluids observed in the breakdown lane, he said, suggested that the car was likely leaking gasoline, which caught fire due to sparks. Hannum was unsure whether the vehicle collided with anything prior to catching on fire.

The driver was hospitalized with minor injuries, Hannum said. The vehicle was towed away at around 2:40 p.m.

According to DeAngelis, both lanes of traffic, which were closed as first responders worked at the scene, fully reopened at around 3 p.m.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-930-4231 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Frontier’s response to report of sexual misconduct on campus draws parents’ ire
‘Glamping’ resort proposed in Charlemont
Patrons can ‘walk down memory lane’ at Sweet Phoenix’s new Greenfield location
Primo Restaurant & Pizzeria in South Deerfield under new ownership
Post-pandemic hardship prompts Between The Uprights closure in Turners Falls
After 10 years at Hillcrest Elementary, Burstein accepts job as Bernardston principal