Fatal Accident in Greenwich Causing Delays on Merritt

Driver of passenger car apparently killed when it overturned, down an embankment into the Byram River.


The driver of a passenger car was killed in an early morning crash Wednesday when the car rolled down an embankment of the Merritt Parkway, just before southbound Exit 27, in the area of the old toll plazas, authorities reported.

According to Greenwich Police and emergency dispatches, the driver was the only occupant of the unidentified passenger car which ended up in the Byram River. Greenwich firefighters were dispatched to the heavily wooded scene between Exit 27 (King Street) and Riversville Road, about 7:37 a.m.

At least four engine and rescue units from the Greenwich Fire Department were dispatched to the scene. According to Greenwich Police Sgt. John Slusarz of the Traffic Section, "It was a passenger vehicle with a single occupant with a single fatality."

According to Deputy Fire Chief Keith Millette, fire crews had to extricate the driver from the car. "They had to use some roped to somewhat rappel about 15 to 20 feet down the embankment with their equipment. They had to remove the driver's door to remove the (female) victim," Millette said. He said the car landed in the river but "wasn't submerged whatsoever."

Slusarz also said motorists should expect delays on the parkway for several hours. One lane is closed and there will be periodic complete road closures as emergency crews and the Connecticut State Police investigate the scene and bring in heavy equipment to remove the vehicle. At 10:20 a.m., Connecticut DOT was reporting traffic backups of more than 3 miles leading to the scene.

Slusarz said fire department personnel installed containment booms on the Byram River to prevent fluids leaking from the vehicle flowing downstream. He also said the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was at the scene.

A request for information from the state police was left with a department spokesman.


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