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Woman Killed Flagging Down Help On Rochambeau Bridge



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A 22-year-old Hartford woman was fatally injured early Monday morning, after being struck on Interstate 84 while trying to flag down assistance for her own disabled vehicle.

Connecticut State Police (CSP) reported that Samantha Figueroa was traveling on I-84 East, approximately three-tenths of a mile west of Exit 13, in the left lane of two on the Rochambeau Bridge. The span carries traffic over Lake Zoar and straddles the Newtown-Southbury town line.

Figueroa reportedly experienced difficulties with her vehicle, a 2009 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, that caused it to be disabled. CSP's report states Figueroa exited her vehicle and was standing in the left lane of traffic attempting to flag down passing vehicles.

While attempting to negotiate a left-hand curve on the bridge eastbound, police say Uriel Estrada, 52, of Duluth, Ga., operating a 2016 Mack Truck, collided with Figueroa’s vehicle. Figueroa was struck during the collision. The incident was reported at 3:30 am Monday.

Figueroa was transported by Southbury Ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, where she was pronounced dead.

Both vehicles suffered disabling damage. The case remains under investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the collision is asked to contact Trooper David Loughman at Troop A-Southbury at 203-267-2200.

The incident caused a ripple effect that generated traffic gridlock on both sides of the bridge for hours October 25 as State Police investigated. Traffic on I-84 East was at nearly a standstill for hours, at one point back to Exit 15 in Southbury. Westbound traffic was also very slow, out to Exit 7 in Danbury. Secondary roads in Newtown — including those in Sandy Hook Center, Church Hill Road, Main Street and Mt Pleasant — also saw the ripple effect, with drivers trying to circumvent the highway.

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