Interstate 84 east reopened in Vernon

Emergency responders look over the wreckage after two tractor-trailers collided Friday morning on Interstate 84 (WTNH / Joe Sferrazza)

VERNON, Conn. (WTNH) — Interstate 84 eastbound has reopened in Vernon after two tractor-trailers collided early Friday morning.

The accident occurred just after 4:05 a.m. on Interstate 84 eastbound between exits 66 and 67 in Vernon. A tractor-trailer truck was parked on the side of the highway while its driver, 45-year-old Jonathan Oberko, of Bronx NY, was asleep in the sleeper cab section.

A second truck, driven by 42-year-old Artan Nika, of  Peabody MA, was traveling eastbound on the highway in the right lane, when police say his truck drifted into the shoulder section of the roadway, colliding with Oberko’s truck.

Vernon emergency responders on the scene of a crash involving two tractor trailers (WTNH / Joe Sferrazza)
Vernon emergency responders on the scene of a crash involving two tractor trailers (WTNH / Joe Sferrazza)

The impact of the crash caused Nika’s truck to come to an uncontrolled final stop in the left lane and left shoulder area of the highway. Nika’s truck then caught fire, and became fully engulfed.

Both sides of the highway were closed for about 40 minutes while fire crews worked to extinguish the fire. Vernon police tell News 8 that 84 westbound was reopened to traffic around 4:45 a.m

The drivers of the two rigs were able to escape their trucks without major injuries. Nika told police he was not hurt, and refused medical attention at the scene. Oberko reported non-life threatening injuries to Troopers. He was taken to Rockville Hospital for treatment.

Part of the wreckage from an accident involving two tractor-trailers on Interstate 84 Friday morning (WTNH / Joe Sferrazza)
Part of the wreckage from an accident involving two tractor-trailers on Interstate 84 Friday morning (WTNH / Joe Sferrazza)

Both rigs were totaled in the accident, and both have since been towed away from the scene.

Eastbound lanes were reopened to traffic by 11:30 a.m.

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