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Distracted Driving in the State

Every day in Connecticut there are 11.1 million instances of distracted driving.

According to the state Department of Transportation in a new report on April 21, just under 10 percent of drivers are texting or using a hand held cell phone while driving, putting both their life at risk and those of others as well.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distracted driving is a factor in nearly six out of 10 accidents by teen drivers which were classified as moderate to severe. In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in the United States and 424,000 injured in accidents where distracted driving was involved.

For the purposes of the report, trained observers were place in seven municipalities to observe driver behavior and extrapolated across the state.

Distracted driving has been against the law in Connecticut for ten years and the fines have also increased to $150 for a first offense, $300 for the second and $500 for three or more. However, this has not stopped the problem.

To try and help, this month several police departments, along with the state police and with the help of grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are participating in a crackdown dubbed “U Drive, U Text, U Pay.” Hundreds of tickets have been issued already, over the more than 7,000 tickets issued in a similar effort in September.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.

Man Taken Into Custody After Crash

On Tuesday morning, 24 March, a man was taken into custody accused of crashing his vehicle after robbing a bank.

According to police, 44 year old Christopher Basigalup, of Torrington city man is accused of robbing the TD Bank at 215 High St., next to Stop and Shop shortly before 9 a.m. The police went on to say although he did not show a weapon he told bank employees that he was armed. There were no injuries during the robbery and police were trying to find the suspect.

Around an hour later on the same morning, a state trooper tried to stop a pickup truck on Interstate 84 west near exit 6 in Danbury. However the driver of the pickup fled, leaving the highway at exit 2, then got back on Interstate 84 east and got off again at exit 7 onto Route 7 north. While driving north the pickup hit the rear of a box truck in New Milford.

Basigalup had to be extricated from the pickup truck and was taken to Danbury Hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the box truck did not appear to be injured but was taken to Danbury Hospital as a precaution.

According to police, evidence at the scene of the accident linked Basigalup to the bank robbery.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.

The Dangers of Railroad Crossings

On February 3, six people were killed when a Metro North train hit an SUV on the Harlem line which has highlighted again the dangers of railroad crossings.

In 2013 across the United States, there were almost 2,100 collisions at crossings and more than 200 people died which amounts to about four deaths a week.

Federal Railroad Administration statistics show that Stamford has more than its fair share of railway crossing fatalities.

Looking at the New Haven Line in Connecticut, from 1993 to 2013, the three most accident prone crossings were in Stamford, all on Hope Street. During that time frame there were six accidents at the railroad crossing at Hope Street and Largo Drive, six at Hope and Riverbend Drive South, and three at Hope and Viaduct Road, including one fatality.

Each of the remaining crossings on the list of the top ten had two accidents during those years. They include the Camp Avenue crossing in Darien, the Grove Street crossing in New Canaan and the Commerce Street crossing in Norwalk.

The other crossings with two accidents each were in Danbury, Ansonia, Milford and Redding, with two fatalities and he crossing at Crescent Street in Stamford had one collision during that period.

Metro North officials say the accidents are the fault of motorists although many say the signals or flashing lights did not work. Although Metro North denies this, motorists should always take great care at these crossings.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.

Known Criminal Seriously Hurt in Accident Following Police Pursuit

On Tuesday afternoon, a known criminal was seriously hurt in an accident when trying to escape from authorities.

According to police, 25 year old Andrew “Moe” Parra was a known drug dealer with a long criminal history and he had an outstanding warrant on narcotics charges. He was seen in an area known for drug activity and was followed by undercover narcotics officers to a home in Franklin Street. Officers tried to stop him when he came out, but he got into his car and sped off, with several police cars in pursuit. Parra refused to stop, instead he increased speed and after about 15 minutes the police called off the chase. Then State Police told them Parra had crashed some three miles away on Route 7 northbound. No other vehicles were involved.

Parra was taken to Danbury Hospital with serious injuries and was later transferred to Westchester Medical Center. He now will be charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, engaging police in a pursuit and reckless driving.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an auto accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford pedestrian accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.

Big Freeze in Danbury Causes Scores of Crashes

On Sunday morning there was ice and freezing rain in the Danbury area which made travel very hazardous and the scores of crashes overwhelmed the police.

According to Danbury police the problems began at 8 a.m. when the big freeze hit and there were over 30 accidents in just two hours. Luckily, although there were several injuries no one had to go to hospital. Temperatures began to rise and by mid afternoon the roads were safe again with just a few icy patches in shady areas, such as under bridges.

In Ridgefield, messages were sent by the police department to ask residents not to drive and only five accidents occurred there, although the police did say that the fact it was a Sunday and not a workday contributed to the low number of crashes.

Redding Police also sent an emergency notification Sunday morning, telling people to stay off the roads but nonetheless there were several crashes in the area, and in New Milford, although there were only around 10 accidents, scores of cars were stuck on the sides of the roads as they became disabled in the freezing conditions.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an auto accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford pedestrian accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.

Woman Remains in Intensive Care after Accident

On Sunday morning there was a single vehicle crash which left a Connecticut woman in intensive care.

According to state troopers, the accident happened on Interstate 684 near the Route 138 Bridge shortly before 9 in the morning. It appears that a four door van which was going northbound, and in which she was traveling, crashed into the guardrail on the Interstate.

Police, firefighters and paramedics arrived at the scene and three people were taken to hospital. Two were released and the as yet unidentified woman, who is in her 40s and a Connecticut resident, was still in intensive care on Sunday night at Westchester Medical Center.

The front end of the navy blue van was severely damaged and two lanes had to be closed to allow assistance to be given.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation by state troopers.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an auto accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford pedestrian accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.

More Accidents in the State This Year

During the holiday period and Operation SANTA there was only one fatality reported on Connecticut roads.

Operation SANTA ran from midnight December 23 until midnight December 26 when there were more accidents than last year with 279 this year and 249 last year. The number of accidents where someone was injured was 38 compared to 28 last year.

There were 19 DUI arrests and 243 speeding violations this year. Last year there were 18 DUI arrest and 301 speeding violations.

Troopers said that there was a high volume of traffic over the Christmas holiday, and that enforcement patrols continued throughout the state over New Years Eve.

However, although the fatality figures look small, they do not include two fatalities. One happened on Sunday December 28 when 22 year old Alan J. Alexis from Stratford was killed when thrown from his car in a rollover crash and the previous day, 29 year old John Compton from Bridgeport was killed in an ATV rollover accident on Turkey Roost Road in Monroe.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an auto accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford pedestrian accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.

Looking to Change Boating Laws

Following the death in August of a girl from a boating accident close to the Old Greenwich Yacht Club at Greenwich Point, Greenwich lawmakers are looking at new legislation to try and prevent such accidents happening in the future.

Among the ideas are to bring the state’s boat licensing requirements in line with requirements for obtaining a driver’s license given that a boat powered by an engine can be just as unsafe as a car, if not more so because of the risk of drowning.

In addition, consideration will be given to increasing the age for operating a boat, or protective covers on propeller blades.

State records show there are typically one or more boating associated fatalities on Connecticut waters each year. According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, DEEP, there were 39 boating accidents reported to state authorities in 2013. Of these, 13 resulted in at least one particular injury. Two of those resulting in injury were alcohol related.

At the moment in Connecticut, an operator usually needs to get a boating certificate from DEEP which can be acquired after finishing a safe boating course and passing a test. They also need to be at least 12 years of age to operate a boat alone but those even younger are allowed to operate a boat as long as they are accompanied by someone over 18 who holds a certificate.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a boating accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford pedestrian accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.

Car Crash Turns Deadly

Late on Thursday night a Bridgeport man was stabbed to death following a two vehicle collision.

According to police, they received a 911 call shortly before 11.30 p.m. saying that two people were outside their vehicles on Route 8 south exit 5 off ramp and they appeared to be aggressive towards each other. The police then received another call from one of the two involved in the altercation who asked for assistance but the call was disconnected with sounds of a fight in the background. There was then a third call from the same man, saying he was in now at the corner of Lindley and Capitol Avenues in Bridgeport and police went there and found 26 year old Bridgeport resident Bryant Kelly who appeared to have been stabbed and was seriously injured.

Troopers provided emergency care and Kelly was then taken by ambulance to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after being admitted.

Police have not released the other man’s name and are continuing with the investigation.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an auto accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford pedestrian accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.

Taxi Driver Stabbed and Crashes Car

A Norwalk taxi cab driver who was stabbed and then had a motor vehicle accident has died.

According to Norwalk police they received reports of a stabbing and motor vehicle accident on Grove Street in South Norwalk shortly after midnight on Monday.

They responded to the scene and found the victim, Jackson Pierre-Louis, age 51, of Bridgeport, who had been stabbed several times and crashed his taxi.

Pierre-Louis was treated by Emergency Medical Teams and was taken to Norwalk Hospital. However he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at hospital.

According to police the investigation is ongoing and detectives are asking for any witness to come forward including anyone who may have ridden in his cab prior to the incident.

The police went on to say that an autopsy to determine manner and cause of death has been scheduled at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an auto accident in Connecticut, contact the Stamford pedestrian accident attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at  (855) 850-1711 – or Click here for a free case evaluation.