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I-84 Four-Vehicle Chain-Reaction Crash Hospitalizes Four



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I-84 Four-Vehicle Chain-Reaction Crash Hospitalizes Four

By Andrew Gorosko

Four people were injured and a dog was killed late on the morning of Thursday, March 26, when a four-vehicle chain-reaction accident involving two tractor-trailer trucks occurred on westbound Interstate 84, near its Exit 11 off-ramp.

Westbound traffic on the highway backed up into Middlebury as emergency service workers attended to the injured people, cleaned up the wreckage, and investigated the multiple-impact collision.

The accident occurred on the section of westbound I-84 just east of the Philo Curtis Road overpass.

Firefighters extricated two people from a damaged van, which came to rest atop an embankment on the left side of the tri-lane highway, said Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Chief Bill Halstead. The rescuers removed the rear doors of the vehicle to extricate the injured pair from the vehicle, he said.

The impact of the crash was so intense that it shattered the car seats in which the van occupants had been sitting, he said.

A pet Labrador retriever, which had been traveling in the van, died as a result of the crash, the fire chief said.

Sandy Hook firefighters called in Newtown Hook & Ladder firefighters for aid at the extensive accident scene, said Chief Halstead. About 25 firefighters overall responded to the scene.

“There was a lot of activity,” he said of the various tasks required in dealing with the major accident.

A tractor-trailer truck involved in the incident had spilled some antifreeze onto the pavement, which needed to be cleaned up, he said.

Ambulances from Newtown, Stony Hill, Southbury, and Danbury responded to accident. Three paramedics were involved in treating those injured in the collisions.

State police provided a basic description of what occurred in the four-vehicle accident.

Motorist Roger Gagnon, 51, of Enfield, who was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, stopped on the highway due to heavy traffic conditions.

David Sones, 55, of Muncy, Penn., who was driving a 2007 International tractor-trailer truck, then stopped behind the pickup truck.

James Forrest, 47, of West Gardiner, Maine, who was driving a 1998 Chevrolet van, was coming to a stop due to the heavy traffic. The van also carried female passenger Robin Morrill, 48, of the same address in West Gardiner, Maine.

Alan Aubin, 51, of Harrisburg, Penn., who was driving a 2001 Kenworth tractor-trailer truck, then struck the van from behind, causing the van to flip over and land on its passenger side along the left side of the road. The front of the van faced the highway and its rear end hung over some guard cables.

The Kenworth truck then continued traveling forward and struck the rear end of the International truck. That impact pushed the International truck into the rear end of the pickup truck, state police said.

Sones, Forrest, Morrill, and Aubin all were admitted to Danbury Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said. Gagnon was checked by medical personnel at the accident scene.

By midday on April 1, Forrest was the only patient of the four who remained in Danbury Hospital. Forrest was listed in good condition.

Morrill was discharged from Danbury Hospital on March 31. Sones and Aubin were both discharged from Danbury Hospital on March 27.

State Trooper Keith Buinauskas, who investigated the accident, said that Aubin, who was driving the Kenworth tractor-trailer truck, received infractions on charges of traveling too fast and following too closely.

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