Chain reaction five-car crash injured three

A car struck and totaled a police cruiser in the Feb. 5 accident

Excessive speed was the precipitating factor behind the first crash that led to the others simultaneously. — Photo courtesy of Easton Police Department

Excessive speed was the precipitating factor behind the first crash that led to the others simultaneously. — Photo courtesy of Easton Police Department

Three separate crashes involving five vehicles happened as a chain reaction Feb. 5 on a stretch of road around a curve on Black Rock Turnpike (Route 58) near Burr Street and the Fairfield border.

Drivers came upon the curve before they knew it and started the chain reaction, according to Easton Police Sgt. Jonathan Arnold.

The incident occurred at 2:42 p.m. even as the state Department of Transportation was sanding and plowing the slick, snow-covered state highway.

Snow was blowing off the trees onto the road even though it had been plowed, and there was no direct sunlight.

Excessive speed was the precipitating factor behind the first crash that led to the others simultaneously.

A Bridgeport man who was traveling south on Black Rock Turnpike lost control of his car and skidded into the northbound lane where he struck an oncoming Fairfield police car, Arnold said.

The van went up an embankment and rolled over. — Easton Police Department photo

The van went up an embankment and rolled over. — Easton Police Department photo

As the incident unfolded, a Bethel man in a van who was traveling south saw the accident and lost control of his vehicle. The van went up an embankment and rolled over,

Two vehicles behind the van saw the vehicle flip over and took evasive action to avoid hitting it but collided with each other.

In addition to Easton police, the Easton Volunteer Fire Department, Easton Volunteer Emergency Medical Service, AMR Ambulance, Fairfield Police Department and Fairfield Fire Department responded.

In addition to Easton police, the Easton Volunteer Fire Department, Easton Volunteer Emergency Medical Service, AMR Ambulance, Fairfield Police Department and Fairfield Fire Department responded. — Photo courtesy of Easton Police Department

In addition to Easton police, the Easton Volunteer Fire Department, Easton Volunteer Emergency Medical Service, AMR Ambulance, Fairfield Police Department and Fairfield Fire Department responded. — Photo courtesy of Easton Police Department

“Based on the statements given by the operators, there was not a lot of doubt as to how it happened,” Arnold said.

Emergency medical workers took three people, one from each of the set of accidents, to the hospital.

The van driver had the most serious of the injuries and might have had a broken wrist and sustained a shoulder injury, Arnold said.

The Fairfield police officer who was driving the police cruiser was taken to St. Vincent’s Medical Center to be checked out, Arnold said.

The Fairfield officer had been on his way to Treasure Road off Route 136 in response to a call about a tree that was down, Arnold said.

A Bridgeport man traveling south on Black Rock Turnpike lost control of his car and skidded into the northbound lane where he struck an oncoming Fairfield police car. — Photo courtesy of Easton Police Department

A Bridgeport man traveling south on Black Rock Turnpike lost control of his car and skidded into the northbound lane where he struck an oncoming Fairfield police car. — Photo courtesy of Easton Police Department

One of the people in the two-car accident might have sustained a leg injury and wanted to get checked out, he said.

Once the accident was cleared, a Fairfield accident reconstructionist worked with Easton’s reconstructionist since a Fairfield officer was involved.

“The whole thing took about an hour and 20 minutes,” Arnold said. “The road didn’t have to shut down because traffic could be detoured around North Street and Burr Street, which worked out well.”

Four of the five vehicles were totaled and had to be flat bedded out. The fifth car, a Jeep, which had collided with the car in front of it after the van rolled over, was not badly damaged and could be driven away, Arnold said.

Allan Madrigal, 34, of 749 Wood Ave.,Bridgeport, the driver of the first car, who struck the police officer, was charged with driving too fast for conditions, failure to drive in the proper lane, driving an unregistered motor vehicle and operating under suspension. He was charged with a misdemeanor and released on a promise to appear in court later this month.

The other drivers were issued infractions and warnings, based on the circumstances.

The van driver, a 35-year-old male from Bethel, was issued an infraction for driving without a license and traveling too fast for conditions.

Both drivers involved in the two-car accident received written warnings for driving too fast for conditions. One was a 63-year-old man from Easton, the other was an 18-year-old from Redding.

All of the charges were handled by the Easton Police Department.

“The state came out to clear, sand and salt because they were there, working on the road, but hadn’t gotten to that area,” Arnold said.

More accidents and ‘doing donuts’

Police also responded to several other accidents that day. None of them caused injuries.

But that wasn’t all. A man was caught doing donuts in the Samuel Staples Elementary School Friday night, Arnold said.

The driver of a car that struck a utility pole at 7:53 a.m. on Route 59 south of Abbey Road was issued a written warning for speeding too fast for conditions.

A car went into a tree on Route 136 north of Route 58. The driver was issued  a written warning for traveling too fast for conditions.

Another car went off the road into a side street and collided on South Park Avenue near Tersana Drive.

Another slid on 136 south of Center Road heading to Westport and was issued an infraction for speeding too fast for conditions. Another hit a speed limit sign and sideswiped a tree. The driver was given a warning for speeding too fast for conditions.

Still more trouble was in store when police “caught a kid doing donuts in an open field”  by Samuel Staples Elementary School at 10 p.m. An officer saw headlights and issued a ticket to a 26-year-old-male from Fairfield for simple trespass, Arnold said.

The Fairfield officer had been on his way to Treasure Road off Route 136 in response to a call about a tree that was down. — Photo courtesy of Easton Police Department

The Fairfield officer had been on his way to Treasure Road off Route 136 in response to a call about a tree that was down. — Photo courtesy of Easton Police Department

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