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Serious Accidents Result In Injuries, Snarl I-84 Morning Rush



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Motorists traveling in both directions on Interstate 84 in Newtown on the morning of Monday, June 8, encountered extensive travel delays following serious motor vehicle accidents that occurred on both sides of the highway.

That traffic congestion spilled over onto local roads during the morning commute, as motorists either sought alternate routes or were directed by state police to detours off the highway.

State police said that that at about 2:35 am, motorist Fabricio Gomez-Pelaez, 20, of Danbury was driving a 2004 Lincoln LS sedan eastward in the left lane of I-84, about one mile east of the Exit 9 interchange, when he lost control of the auto and entered the highway median.

The sedan climbed an embankment on the median and then collided with three trees. The vehicle then drove down the opposite side of the embankment, coming to rest in the westbound lanes, state police said.

The auto received heavy damage in the collision and was towed away.

Gomez-Pelaez received serious injuries in the crash and was transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of injuries, state police said. A hospital spokeswoman listed Gomez-Pelaez in fair condition mid-afternoon on June 8. 

Newtown Hook & Ladder volunteer firefighters responded to the accident.

State police closed the westbound lanes of the highway between Exits 10 and 9 to investigate the crash. They directed westbound motorists to leave I-84 at the Exit 10 off-ramp and follow a parallel route until reentering I-84’s westbound lanes at the Exit 9 interchange in Hawleyville. 

State police reopened all of I-84’s westbound lanes at 6:39 am.

The accident is under investigation, state police said.

Distracted Driving

Amid the traffic congestion which was caused by the initial accident, another traffic accident occurred on I-84’s eastbound lanes near the Exit 9 interchange about 6:04 am.

Trucker Robert Bivins, 36, of Honesdale, Penn, was driving a 2014 Kenworth tractor-trailer truck in the right lane of two lanes and then slowed for traffic conditions, after which motorist Genie Taylor, 33, of Seymour, who was driving a 2004 Saturn Vue SUV, did not slow and collided with the trailer’s collapsible crash bars, which are positioned beneath the rear doors of the trailer, state police said.

The Saturn was heavily damaged in the impact.

The truck dragged the Saturn about 150 feet after the collision, officials said.

Hawleyville and Hook & Ladder firefighters spent about 30 minutes working to extricate Taylor from the heavily damaged Saturn. A dozen firefighters responded to the accident, said Hawleyville Fire Chief John Basso.

Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps members transported Taylor to Danbury Hospital for treatment of injuries, officials said. Taylor was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Both vehicles were towed from the accident scene.

The accident caused travel delays on I-84, with some drivers seeking alternate routes to avoid the congestion.

State police said they issued Taylor an infraction for failure to drive a reasonable distance apart and for using a handheld cellphone while driving.

Hawleyville and Hook & Ladder volunteer firefighters responded to a two-vehicle accident on eastbound Interstate 84  in Hawleyville about 6 am on June 8, in which the woman driver of a Saturn Vue SUV drove beneath the trailer of a tractor-trailer truck. Firefighters extricated the woman from the wreckage, after which she was transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of injuries.
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