EAST LYME, Conn. -- One canine certainly fulfilled the role of man's best friend on Friday.
Witnesses described seeing a tanker truck barrel through the median into oncoming traffic, killing three people and injuring three others on Interstate 95 in East Lyme late Friday morning. The tanker struck a tractor-trailer and at least four cars and overturned.
As chaos broke out on I-95, a heroic pit bull remained calm, sitting in the front seat of a tractor-trailer hit by a tanker truck. As the truck crumbled, the dog stood tall, staying beside his owner until help arrived.
"I was calling to him, but he was just standing there and just guarding his person," said Phyllis Martino, a witness at the scene.
The heroic dog stayed right by his owner's side, but arriving firefighters quickly rushed that badly injured driver to the hospital.
That's when another hero was standing by to step in. Vincent Gagliardi said the pit bull was frantic as his owner was carried away. So, Gagliardi took off his belt, ran to the dog, fashioned a leash and got the dog out of there.
"This guy was still sitting in the passenger seat, and there was diesel fuel all around, so I took him out of there," Gagliardi said.
Authorities did not release on Friday any identities of those involved in the crash.