Broward County firefighter, girlfriend critically injured in fiery crash on I-95

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A Broward Sheriff’s Office firefighter helped his girlfriend escape after a fiery crash involving a fuel tanker on Interstate 95 in Delray Beach.

The pair, who were riding in an Uber, were among five people injured in Tuesday afternoon’s crash in the northbound lanes approaching Atlantic Avenue.

Bryan Aparicio, 27, who is assigned to Station 10 in Fort Lauderdale, is in critical condition with second- and third-degree burns to his face, head and arms at Delray Medical Center, and his girlfriend was transferred to the burn unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami with second- and third-degree burns on her legs and hands. One other unnamed person also was taken to the Miami hospital.

A car veered out of its lane and struck the right side of the fuel tanker, causing it to overturn. The driver of the Uber, trying to avoid that initial crash, hit the concrete median. This led to a massive fire with black, billowing smoke and forced the closure of northbound and southbound lanes for several hours.

“He recognized they were trapped,” Jason Smith, president of the Broward County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association, International Association of Firefighters Local 4321, told WPLG. “He went into the mode, ‘My girlfriend is tapped and I gotta make certain that I get her out.'”

A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $23,000.

“For those of you who know Bryan, know that he is a kind and exceptional human being,” according to a post by fellow firefighters Eric Solera and Brendan Quilter. “His swift actions and acts of heroism saved his girlfriend’s life. We believe that it’s our turn to step up and show him that the community he serves is by his side and ready to help during these unforeseen circumstances.”

They added: “As you could probably imagine, Bryan will have a long road to recovery. We will be working with Bryan and his family to ensure that they don’t have to worry about anything else but his prompt recovery.”

The crash shut down I-95 for hours near the Atlantic Avenue exit as firefighters put out the massive flames.

Lt. Indiana Miranda, a spokeswoman for the Florida Highway Patrol, told WPLG the tanker truck was not at fault and the driver of the car that hit the tanker will be cited.

“The car cut him off, that’s what’s believed,” she said.

Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Palm Beach County firefighters helped to extinguish the large flames.

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