A second victim, April Dupont, has passed away from her injuries that she has sustained from the serious accident on the I-84 in Bethel/Danbury Sunday afternoon. She was left in a coma following the accident until she passed away last night. Please keep her family in thoughts and prayers .
BETHEL — At least one person was dead and three others were injured, two critically, when a westbound pickup truck vaulted a median guardrail on lnterstate 84 Sunday afternoon, crashed into an eastbound car and burst into flames.
Firefighters from Bethel’s Stony Hill department, assisted by an engine company from Danbury, responded to the 5 p.m. accident between Exits 8 and 9 to extricate the victims from the crumpled car. Ambulances from Stony Hill, Newtown and Danbury took the injured to Danbury Hospital. Two of the victims were in critical condition Sunday night, a hospital spokeswoman said. Connecticut State Police identified the person who was killed as Kimberly Pitts, 28, of Dedham, Mass., the rear seat passenger of the car. The driver of the car was identified as Mark Wallace, 29, and the front seat passenger was April Dupont, 29, of Brighton, Mass.
The red Ford Ranger pickup truck, its front end and passenger side blackened by the flames, came to rest in the middle of the three-lane highway while a silver-colored Honda Civic, rendered virtually unrecognizable after firefighters cut it up to remove the occupants, wound up just off the highway on the right shoulder. The driver of the pickup, identified as Andrew DeLuca, 20, of Taagan Point Road in Danbury, was out of his vehicle and “walking around” when Stony Hill firefighters arrived at the scene, Assistant Chief Tom Galliford said. “The pickup truck was fully involved when we got there,” Galliford said. All three people in the second car had to be extricated. Eastbound traffic came to a halt and people got out of their cars to render assistance, said John Robertson of Bethel, who photographed the aftermath of the crash from a nearby highway overpass before firefighters got there. Robertson said that from his vantage point, the silver car was either a convertible or had its roof sheared off by the impact.
Danbury Fire Lt. Bart McLeary of Engine 22 said that his men had to extricate the driver of the Civic, and two doctors who had stopped to render assistance were examining a woman who had been trapped in the passenger seat. She was still in the car when Danbury firefighters returned to their station, McLeary said, and it appears that it was Pitts, the fatality. DeLuca, the pickup driver, was also taken to the hospital, Galliford said. State Police said the pickup swerved to avoid an unidentified car, crossing both lanes of westbound traffic, stiking the metal guardrail and going airborne before landing on the eastbound side of I-84, striking the roof of the Civic. The westbound car that cut off the pickup truck continued on, and is being sought by State Police. Eastbound traffic was backed up for miles into New York state, while the westbound side of the highway was also shut down briefly while emergency personnel put out the fire and removed the victims. When the westbound lanes were reopened, traffic crawled past the accident scene. About 6 p.m., state police turned the eastbound entrance ramp off Newtown Road in Danbury into an exit, and began clearing vehicles from the highway. Stony Hill’s Rescue 2 and a state Department of Transportation crew remained at the accident site to provide lighting while state police from Troop A in Southbury investigated the crash. State police reopened the highway shortly before 10 p.m.The accident remains under investigation, and State Police are asking anyone with information to contact Troop A in Southbury at (203) 267-2200 or 1 (800) 376-1554.