UPDATE: Names Identified; Three Hospitalized Following Route 8 Crash in Naugatuck

Traffic on the highway was cut off at Exit 27 in Naugatuck due to an accident late Saturday evening.


Update, 4:12 p.m. Sunday, April 29:

Update: 9:20 a.m. Sunday, April 29

The driver of the van involved in the Route 8 crash late Saturday evening was going the wrong way in the highway’s southbound lane, state police said.

New Haven resident Edmundo Mendieta, 35, was operating a white 2003 Chevrolet van when he collided with a blue 2008 Honda Accord driven by William J. Baer Jr., 24, of Beacon Falls. Baer was driving southbound on Route 8 in the left lane when the collision happened just north of Exit 27 at 10 p.m.

Sara Chmielewski, 22, of Stratford, was a passenger in Baer’s car.

State police said Baer was taken to Waterbury Hospital in an ambulance and Chmielewski was taken via ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital.

Both sustained life-threatening injuries and are in critical condition, a trooper at the Bethany Troop I barracks said.

Meanwhile, Mendieta was also taken to St. Mary’s Hospital, although his injuries are not life-threatening, police said.

The police report did not indicate whether any of the three were wearing seatbelts.

The accident is under investigation. No further details were available.

Original Article:

A two-car collision on Route 8 southbound sent three people to the hospital late Saturday evening with serious injuries, a Naugatuck fire official said.

The crash involved a blue sedan and a white van, which both sustained heavy damage following the incident.

Naugatuck Fire Department Lt. Greg Flaherty said a 911 call came in at 10 p.m., on the dot, for a report of a motor vehicle accident just north of the Exit 27 off-ramp.

Flaherty said there were two occupants in one car and one person in another. All three were rushed to area hospitals with serious injuries following the crash, Flaherty said.

"It appeared to be a head-on collision," he said.

The Connecticut State Police are investigating the accident. An official wasn't immediately available to comment.

Naugatuck police also responded to the scene, and the Beacon Falls Fire Department assisted Naugatuck in covering the fire station during the accident investigation.

The identities of those involved in the crash weren't immediately available Saturday evening.


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