NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - An arrest was made following a crash on Tuesday afternoon that smashed up a number of cars and sent six people to the hospital.

It happened around 5:20 p.m. along the southbound side of I-95 in New Haven.

One of the vehicles involved in the crash was a tractor trailer.

On Wednesday, New Haven police said a suspect had carjacked the tractor trailer, but didn't know how to drive it and crashed into several cars.

The suspect has been identified as 50-year-old Frank Montes-Rivera.

State police continue to look into what led up to a crash that happened on I-95 Tuesday afternoon.

Before he tried to steal the tractor trailer, police said Montes-Rivera carjacked two other cars. He had left one outside a mobile station on Long Wharf before running onto I-95 at exit 46.

From there, he carjacked the tractor trailer.

Police said Montes-Rivera assaulted the truck driver by hitting him with a metal thermos and pushed him out of the tractor onto the highway.

He then began to drive the tractor-trailer and struck 10 vehicles in traffic before coming to final rest against the metal beam guardrail off the right shoulder.

“Not knowing how to drive an 18 wheeler, had struck multiple cars on the highway, trooper responded and a fight ensued. We believe the individual was on PCP," said Interim New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez. 

I-95 South Crash

A multi-vehicle crash Tuesday shut down part of I-95 South in New Haven.

When an officer approached him, police said Montes-Rivera lunged at the trooper, who then deployed his taser.

He then began to fight with two other troopers who were trying to remove him from the truck.

“Luckily there was a retired police officer who was stuck in traffic and he got out of his vehicle to assist the trooper, got into a struggle as well,” Dominguez said.

That would be retired New Haven Assistant Chief Herb Johnson.

He’s now an inspector with the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Johnson got out of his car to help, and that’s when police say Montes-Rivera began fighting both Johnson and the trooper, even breaking Johnson’s holster during the struggle and trying to get his gun, before being placed under arrest.

“I don’t know if he had the gun in his hand or if he was just still in the holster of the inspector and his hand was on it, but the inspector was able to get the suspect’s hand and away from his firearm,” said CT State Police Sgt. Christine Jeltema.

Ultimately, Montes-Rivera was taken into custody and is being charged with robbery by carjacking, interfering with an officer, assault on public safety, second-degree breach of peace, disorderly conduct, second-degree assault, second-degree assault with a motor vehicle and first-degree reckless endangerment.

He was held on a $100,000 bond and was processed in the hospital.

I-95 south was closed between Exits 46 and 44 for an extended period of time, but has since reopened.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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