East Hartford man killed in hit-and-run identified
EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A man was killed in a hit-and-run on Pitkin Street in East Hartford on Wednesday night.
Police identified the victim as 70-year-old George Tette-Quarshire of East Hartford.
They said it happened around 9:30 p.m. at Pitkin’s intersection with Main Street.
Police have found the vehicle and the driver who is cooperating with the investigation.
Tette-Quarshire was found in the street suffering from severe injuries. Firefighters tried to perform life-saving measures, police said.
Tette-Quarshire, whom police said was a pedestrian, was transported to Hartford Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.
People are being hit by cars and dying at a shockingly high rate, officials said.
They have been trying to figure out why there’s been such a big increase.
Seventy-three pedestrians have been killed by a driver in the last year in Connecticut.
Fifty-six were killed in 2021, 61 in 2020 and 55 in 2019.
After COVID-19, police said they’ve seen an increase in erratic driving. There have been more people texting and driving.
Some officials said it’s not just on the driver.
“Overall, 2022 was a very bad year for motor vehicle crashes and fatalities,” said Eric Jackson, director of the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center.
The numbers were shocking and haven’t been that high in about three decades, Jackson said.
“We knew early on we were going to have issues. We knew the fatal numbers were not going to be good for the state of Connecticut,” Jackson said. “Vehicles traveling a lot faster than they should be. Drivers going faster than they should be. People driving much more aggressive than they should be.”
It’s not just the drivers.
Jackson said his data from police and the Department of Transportation showed the increase involved pedestrians as well.
“Those pedestrians we’re seeing an increase in the alcohol in their system, the number that are impaired by alcohol. And poly drug use, so alcohol plus something else. Whether it’s THC whether it’s cocaine fentanyl benzos. We’re seeing an increase in impairment across the board,” said Jackson.
East Hartford police officer Marc Caruso said he wasn’t surprised.
“After COVID we noticed an uptick in erratic driving just around town,” Caruso said. “It could be drivers are possibly not paying attention as much as they should be using the roadways. Could have to do with handheld devices while texting or being distracted while they’re driving.”
The data showed there were more crashes in the winter. Police said the reason was that it was dark earlier and there were the holidays when more people were drinking.
Police hope more pedestrians will start wearing reflective gear like vests if they’re going to be walking late at night.
The investigation into the pedestrian crash in East Hartford remained active as of Thursday.
Anyone with information about what happened or the suspect vehicle was asked to contact Lt. Daniel Caruso at 860-291-7571.
Copyright 2023 WFSB. All rights reserved.