20-year-old woman caused wrong-way crash on Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - A wrong-way driver crashed on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven overnight.
According to state police, the driver had been heading south in the northbound lanes on Interstate 95 around 2 a.m. on Thursday.
Troopers said the driver was a 20-year-old woman from Terryville. Her passenger was a 19-year-old woman from New Haven. Both suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to Yale New Haven Hospital for evaluation.
The Department of Transportation reported that a tractor trailer was involved. State police said the driver slammed into the tractor trailer, which sparked a fire.
The crash happened between exits 48 and 50.
The left and center lanes were closed as of 6:30 a.m. They reopened later in the morning.
Non-life-threatening injuries were reported to everyone involved, troopers said.
“On the Q Bridge, [I] got stuck in traffic, people were going around me in the breakdown lane, then I saw the truck and I was hoping nobody passed away,” said Billy Gaetano of New Haven.
Gaetano said he was part of the big backup from the crash.
It was the latest in a string of wrong-way crashes across the state.
“The numbers that we’re seeing in terms of wrong-way crashes, fatalities, overall speeding and distractive driving, is really at alarming levels,” said Josh Morgan, state Department of Transportation.
Earlier this week, the DOT weighed in on the levels for 2022.
Just over the weekend, there were two separate incidents in Bridgeport during which three people were killed and several others were hurt.
Thursday’s crash brought the total number to 12.
Twenty people have died in wrong-way crashes this year. That’s up from just three deaths last year, four in 2020, and a previous high of 10 in 2019.
Researchers told Channel 3 that while results in the most recent crashes were still pending, many times the deaths have been the result of speed, alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, and lack of seatbelts.
“Our roads have not changed in the past 3 years, nothing physical has changed on the roadway, the only thing that’s changed is driver behavior,” said Eric Jackson, Transportation Safety Research Center.
Anyone with information on any of the crashes was asked to contact state police.
For real-time traffic updates, check the Channel 3 traffic map here.
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