Concerns raised after man killed on Route 15 in Stamford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Concerns raised after man killed on Route 15 in Stamford

Posted: Updated:
Crews were trimming trees on Monday following a deadly accident on Friday (WFSB) Crews were trimming trees on Monday following a deadly accident on Friday (WFSB)
STAMFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Work continued along the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways on Monday, following a deadly accident.

A tree fell onto a car during Friday’s storm, killing a driver.

The state launched a major tree trimming and removal effort several years ago after a deadly accident where a tree also fell on a car.

Both the state and the conservancy group that works to protect the parkway say safety is their top priority. 

The state Department of Transportation says it aggressively trims and monitors the trees along the Merritt to keep the roadway safe, but there are limits.

“I think some things are just acts of God and they just accidentally happen. You get a storm or whatever and they might go in your way anyways,” said Jona Jeffcoat, of Meriden.

Last Friday, a tree fell onto a car near exit 33 southbound in Stamford. The driver, 25-year-old Jonathan Rodriguez Melendez, was killed.

State police say the rain and strong crosswinds toppled the tree, pulling it up from its roots.

State tree trimming crews were out on Monday looking for trees and limbs that were damaged in Friday’s storm.

“I think they try to do the best job they can. It being safe or unsafe is just an act of God a lot of times, because of the way things are with our weather. I think they are trying to do the best job they can to keep things safe for the motorists,” said Matt Gardner of Southbury.

The state said it did more work on trees in the past few years than was done in prior decades. Many people say that's the best they can do.

DOT officials said it may revisit the tree trimming plan as a result of Friday’s incident.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.