NAUGATUCK — A man died in a one-car motor vehicle accident on Horton Hill Road near its intersection with Route 63 late Friday morning.
The man was driving up Horton Hill, near the Bethany line, when he apparently swerved and struck a retaining wall head-on on the left side of the street just past Ion Bank, across the street from Meadowland Estates. The accident happened just before noon.
The cab of the 2000 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle he was driving became engulfed in flames after he struck the wall, firefighters said.
A passerby in a tow truck used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames and attempted to pull the man out of the vehicle. However, the man was stuck in the driver’s seat.
The Naugatuck Fire Department responded and used two sets of Jaws of Life cutters to remove the hood and take the man out. Fire Capt. Rich Alfes said the extrication was quick but that the man had multiple severe injuries when firefighters got him out of the vehicle. Naugatuck Ambulance rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, Alfes said.
The road was shut down for several hours Friday afternoon as police officers investigated the accident. Police said an accident reconstruction team will work to determine the cause of the accident; those investigations could take several weeks to complete.
Police said the man appeared to be in his 40s, while firefighters estimated he was in his 30s. Police said he was not carrying identification, so they were trying Friday to determine his identity based upon his vehicle registration and to contact the next of kin. The vehicle is registered in Naugatuck, and police believe it is the driver’s vehicle, police said.