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Connecticut Auto Injury Lawyer Tim O’Keefe

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Two Killed, Including Pregnant Woman, In Farmington Crash

FARMINGTON — Two people, including a woman who was eight months pregnant, died in a two-car crash on Route 6 in Farmington Monday afternoon.

Police released the names of the adults involved in the crash Tuesday morning.

Melinda Hart, 27, of Bristol, was driving a minivan in which her three children were passengers. Her 8-year-old son, whose name was not released, was seriously injured and was taken by helicopter to Hartford Hospital. He is now in the intensive care unit at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, police said.

Hart was eight months pregnant and her fetus did not survive the crash, police said.

Ruth Carroll, 86, of Bristol, also died in the crash. She was the passenger in the sedan that collided with the minivan. Her husband, Robert Carroll, 85, was the driver and he remains at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, where police said he underwent surgery Monday night. He suffered serious injuries to his legs and lower body.

Two other children in the minivan were treated at St. Francis and released.

Police said their investigation into the crash continues, but the initial indication is that the sedan turned in front of the eastbound minivan.

The crash was reported at 12:33 p.m. at Route 6 and Hyde Road in Farmington.

The roadway was closed for several hours as police investigated.

The North Central Accident Reconstruction Squad is investigating the cause of the crash.

Farmington police are asking that any witnesses, or anyone with information about the crash, call them at 860-675-2400.


New Distracted Driving Laws in Connecticut

On October 1, 2013, new laws will go into effect in Connecticut that look to strengthen the existing distracted driving laws.  One new law increases the fines for violating the ban on operating while using your cell phone, texting or for engaging in activity that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle.  Beginning on October 1, the fine for a first offense will be $150.00, for a second offense the fine will be $300.00 and the fine will be $500.00 for each subsequent offense.  Another law specifically prohibits drivers from using a cell phone or testing device while their vehicle is temporarily stopped due to traffic or road conditions or while stopped for a traffic control signal.

Fatal Car Vs. Tractor Trailer Crash In Griswold

GRISWOLD — A motorist has died in a collision involving a car and a tractor trailer truck, police said.

The accident was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Route 138, or Voluntown Road, they said. It happened in front of Ocean State Job Lot, 461 Voluntown Road.

State troopers are at the scene and are expected to remain there for some time. The on ramp to I-395 north at exit 85 has been closed as police investigate.

Check back for more information.


10 Taken To Hospitals After East Hartford Crash

EAST HARTFORD — Ten people have been taken to area hospital after a crash on I-84 involving a van that was carrying people with developmental disabilities.

The Ambulance Service of Manchester sent four ambulances and Aetna sent one to the crash scene on eastbound I-84 between exits 55 and 56.

State police and East Hartford firefighters were on the scene.

 


City Official Charged With DUI To Police: ‘Do You Know Who I Am?’

HARTFORD ——

When police arrived at the intersection of Prospect and Farmington avenues Saturday night — where two cars had collided, totaling a city-owned vehicle — they noticed that one of the drivers, Rhonda Moniz-Carroll, had “red, glossy eyes,” “thick, slurred speech” and a strong odor of alcohol emanating from her breath, according to an incident report.

Mayor Pedro Segarra fired Moniz-Carroll, the city’s deputy public works director, on Monday. She was charged over the weekend with driving while intoxicated and failure to drive in a proper lane.

A preliminary investigation showed that Moniz-Carroll, 53, veered into oncoming traffic on Prospect Avenue, police said. She collided head-on with another vehicle about 9:30 p.m.

Both the city-issued Ford Escape that Moniz-Carroll was driving and the other car, a 2006 Nissan Altima, were damaged in the crash.

The driver of the Nissan was Caitlin Greenbaum of Hartford, sources said. She was taken to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center for treatment of an ankle injury and a concussion. Moniz-Carroll, of 54 Cone St., refused medical attention.

Moniz-Carroll told police she was driving south on Prospect Avenue and that the other driver was headed north. Police noticed “a debris of car parts in the north bound lane,” adding: “The focus of the debris was mainly where the impact point was.”

“Based on the area of the impact, I determined Rhonda Moniz-Carroll crossed the double-yellow line and struck [another] vehicle that was traveling north on Prospect,” an officer wrote in a report.

When police approached Moniz-Carroll’s car and questioned her about the accident, they noted she had “droopy eyelids,” “blood shot eyes” and slurred speech. One officer wrote in a report that he detected “an overwhelming odor of alcoholic beverage” on Moniz-Carroll’s breath.

During a field sobriety test, Moniz-Carroll swayed while trying to balance, raised her arms for stability and “would look in the opposite direction of the stimulus in an apparent attempt to sabotage the test,” according to an incident report.

She initially told police she had not consumed alcohol before driving, but later said she drank one glass of wine at 11 a.m. Saturday, the report states.

During interviews with police, Moniz-Carroll said: “Are you serious? You’re going to arrest me! Do you know who I am?” and “Does Chief [William] Long know you are doing your job and arresting me? Do you know who I am?”

At police headquarters, Moniz-Carroll refused a Breathalyzer test and told officers that her husband, Kevin Carroll, was her attorney. As police spoke to her, “she became more upset … stating ‘this is ridiculous. I can’t believe you are doing this. Do you know who I am?’” an incident report states.

Greenbaum told police she did not remember anything before or after the crash. She was “extremely disoriented and was suffering from memory loss due to the force of the impact,” a report states.

Moniz-Carroll is scheduled to be arraigned Friday at Hartford Superior Court.

The accident renewed attention to the assignment and use of city-owned vehicles. Segarra’s former chief of staff, Jared Kupiec, was charged in July with using a city car without permission and interfering with police after he had left the city’s employ. He was later granted a special form of probation.

The Hartford Internal Audit Commission is investigating the assignments and policies for take-home city vehicles, and the city council is considering a proposal that would limit their use.

Fifty-nine employees are currently assigned city vehicles that they can take home.


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