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Head-On Crash Closes Berkshire Road For Three-Plus Hours

A head-on collision involving a tractor-trailer truck and a compact station wagon early on the morning of Thursday, September 19, closed down a section of Berkshire Road (Route 34) near the Newtown-Monroe border for more than three hours.

Police said motorist Joseph Sullo, 23, of Oxford was driving a 1998 Ford Escort station wagon eastward on Berkshire Road, near its intersection with Great Quarter Road, at about 4:47 am, when the Ford crossed over into the westbound lane and collided head-on with a westbound tractor-trailer truck driven by Stanley Swintlicki, 64, of Shelton.

Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company firefighters responded to the accident scene to extricate Sullo from the Ford, said Fire Chief Bill Halstead. Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps and an on-call paramedic also responded.

The straightforward extrication involved removing a door from the auto and then taking Mr Sullo out of the vehicle, Chief Halstead said. The man was conscious and alert as he was being removed from the vehicle, Chief Halstead said.

Police said the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps transported Sullo to St Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport for treatment of possible injuries.

Mr Swintlicki was not injured.

Heavy fluid leakage from both vehicles resulted in Berkshire Road in that area staying closed to through-traffic until about 8 am, after both vehicles had been removed and the spilled fluids cleaned up.

State Department of Transportation (DOT) and state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) staffers went to the accident scene to check on the traffic safety and environmental aspects of the crash.

 Chief Halstead said that about 10 to 15 gallons of hydraulic fluid had spilled from the truck and that various automotive fluids had spilled from the station wagon. The escaped fluids did not reach stormwater catch basins, he said.

The collision and the ensuing cleanup caused traffic backups in both directions on Berkshire Road during the morning rush period. Detour roads in the area included Route 111 in Monroe and Jordan Hill Road in Sandy Hook.

The accident is under investigation.

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