Teacher from NJ killed in fiery Cross Bronx Expressway crash
A woman from New Jersey was identified as the driver killed in a fiery crash Tuesday morning on the Cross Bronx Expressway.
Shelly Vilsaint, 49, of Bayonne, was the driver of a Range Rover that rear-ended a tractor-trailer carrying mail stopped in the center lane near the University Avenue overpass in The Bronx around 12:35 a.m., according to the NYPD. She was hit from behind by a second truck flipping the SUV and pushing it into the truck in front. The impact caused all three vehicles to burst into flames,
A nearby resident told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that they heard several loud booms as the fire started, sending smoke into the neighborhood around the highway.
Vilsaint was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the front truck, a 43-year-old man, and the 51-year-old man driving the back truck, were not injured. No charges have been filed .
The crash closed the southbound Cross Bronx Expressway for several hours during the Tuesday morning commute.
Teacher in The Bronx
Vilsaint was a special education teacher for the New York City public schools.
"Shelly Vilsaint was a beloved special education teacher in our Borough who was dedicated to her students," Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson said on her Twitter account. "She coached the female's basketball team and was loved by all. We are devastated and offer our condolences & prayers to her family & school community."
"My thoughts are with Ms. Vilsaint's loved ones, and I grieve this devastating loss alongside the entire school community," NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks said in a statement to ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
She also created several GoFundMe fundraisers to help families in The Bronx have a turkey for Thanksgiving.