HAMPDEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A firefighter/ EMT who was on his way home from the station, leapt into action when he came across the mass accident on I-95 Wednesday morning that involved around 75 vehicles.
Al Nygren was headed home to Hampden after his shift at the Waterville Fire Department ended.
"I started to go up a hill, I noticed some brake lights in the distance, but it wasn't a tap on the foot, on the break. What it was was uh, continuous brake lights. So I knew there was probably an accident ahead," said Nygren.
He drove right up, parked and started pulling people free from their crumbled vehicles and searching for those who needed medical attention.
"I'd never seen anything like that before, it was really quite surprising. The amount of damage, the extent of the damage, the number of people involved, the number of people that needed help," he said.
For more than two hours, he freed people and directed emergency services to the cars where injured people were.
"I would go from one vehicle to the next, wiping snow off the window so I could see inside, hoping what I saw was good news. Every time it was," he said.
There were no fatalities in the massive pileup and only 17 people went to the hospital. None of the injuries were life threatening, surprising police and hospitals.
Nygren said this type of situation is what he was trained for and even though it was cold and people were traumatized, everyone there was supporting each other.
"Someone gave me gloves because I didn't have any. So, really, the kindness of strangers and people helping each other made it a lot better," he said.
"I had no equipment. I had nothing I could do but I knew that I could tell the people who had the necessary equipment where the needs were and that's triage. Any one of the guys I work with in Waterville or at any of these other fire department would've done the same thing."
Nygren commends the multiple fire, police, and sheriff departments and emergency services for their coordinated efforts in helping the victims of the interstate crash.