Driver of burning car arrested

A 26-year-old Wilton man, who police pulled from a burning car in November, was formally charged in the incident on Jan. 3, after weeks of investigation.

Police said Hunter Stanfield, of 30 Bittersweet Lane, was charged with operating under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane in connection with the motor vehicle accident on Nov. 23.

He was arrested on a warrant, and processed at headquarters with a release on $5,000 bond and a court date of Jan. 13.

Police obtained his blood alcohol level of .26 from Norwalk Hospital with a warrant. They had suspected he had been drinking because of his behavior and because he said he had drunk some wine with a prescription pill.

Police joined forces on a rescue mission Nov. 23 to pull Stanfield from inside the wreck of his 2001 Range Rover, which began burning from the engine compartment after running off the road and hitting some trees.

Stanfield was removed from the car by six officers just before fire engulfed the entire vehicle. The car was in the roadway on New Canaan Road. Officers supplied first aid at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Norwalk Hospital with minor injuries.

The officers are Sgt. David Hartman, Sgt. Gregg Phillipson, Sgt. Arnault Baker, Officer Mark Canepari, Officer Brandon Harris, and Officer Malcolm Hayes.

The Wilton and New Canaan fire departments also responded.

Stanfield’s legs were trapped in the crushed interior of his Rover, and access could not be gained from the damaged doors. Officers got in through the back hatch, and pulled him out, freeing his legs. Officers used a fire extinguisher to fight back the flames that burst into the passenger compartment.

One officer cut his hand and was treated at the scene.