HIGHBRIDGE, the Bronx (PIX11) — A woman was killed in a fiery crash on the Cross Bronx Expressway early Tuesday when her car was crushed between two trucks and burst into flames, according to authorities.
The deadly collision, which unfolded around 12:30 a.m. near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, initially left all lanes of the expressway closed in both directions near the scene, impacting traffic ahead of the Tuesday morning commute.
Police have identified the woman who was killed in a fiery crash as Shelly Vilsaint, 49, of Bayonne, N.J. She was found deceased when police and firefighters arrived at the scene, according to police.
The fatal chain-reaction crash began when the southbound driver of a sedan rear-ended a large box truck contracted by the USPS to haul mail, police said.
While the two vehicles were stopped, a tractor-trailer slammed into the sedan from behind, crushing it against the box truck, officials said.
All three vehicles caught on fire, and the driver of the sedan was killed on the scene, authorities said. Investigators could not immediately determine her identity, with an NYPD spokesperson saying that it may be necessary to turn to dental records.
“It was just lit up right here,” said Jason Brelfort, who’d been out walking his dog when the crash and blaze occurred.
“The whole thing was lit up,” he said, pointing to the scene. “I was like, ‘Oh my God.'”
Denisse Beato lives in a building that’s adjacent to the highway. She was on the phone at the time of the first collision.
“It was like, ‘Boom!’” she said. “And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, what is that? Car crash?’”
“And then it was like, ‘Boom’ again,” she continued, “and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on,’ and you see all the flames.”
The two tractor-trailer drivers were not injured, police said. The two men, one aged 43 and the other 53, remained at the scene, according to investigators. There aren’t any charges filed at this time, police said, and also pointed out that the investigation is ongoing.