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41-Year-Old Massachusetts Woman Killed in I-84 Crash [Updated]

Connecticut State Police release a report that reveals how the six-vehicle accident took place.


Updated at 2:30 p.m., 11/21

According to a spokesperson at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, two of the victims in the accident were treated and released. Another, a 31-year-old Waterbury man, is listed in stable condition.

Updated at 10:45 a.m., 11/21

The driver who was killed in a car accident on I-84 last night has been identified as Laurie Carvalho, a 41-year-old resident of North Attleborough, Mass.

According to a report just released by Connecticut State Police, Carvalho was an occupant in one of six vehicles that were involved in the crash at about 5 p.m. on Nov. 20. The extent of the injuries of the other drivers remains unknown at this time. There were a total of nine people in the six cars, police report.

The accident occured during rush hour when five vehicles traveling westbound in the far left lane slowed to a stop along with traffic, the report states. A sixth vehicle, which police said was being driven by Martinez Juan, 23, of Springfield, Mass., reportedly slammed into Carvalho's car and caused a chain-reaction crash.

Carvahlo was driving a 2011 Nissan Rogue, police said. Juan's vehicle is owned by Penske Truck Leasing Co., according to the police report.

The accident closed the highway for several hours last night and resulted in heavy traffic delays that stretched for nearly 19 miles at one point.

Anyone with information about the accident is encouraged to call Connecticut State Police Troop A at 203-267-2240.

Update at 8:44 p.m., 11/20

A multi-vehicle accident on I-84 claimed the life of one person, according to the News-Times. Kevin Nursick, a Department of Transportation spokesperson, is quoted as saying the area looks like a war zone. 

Nancy Spear of Oxford said she witnessed the accident. She described what she saw in a text message to Patch:

"There were debris and bodies laying in the road and smoke coming from cars ... traffic behind was at a total stop. People were getting out of their cars to try to help victims in the road."

The number of victims and their status remains unknown. Meanwhile, the highway is closed for accident reconstruction. Nursick told Patch that at one point, I-84 eastbound was backed up for 19 miles.


7:10 p.m. Update, 11/20

Middlebury Fire Chief Paul Perrotti reported the following over the fire department scanner:

Traffic presently on the highway is allowed to move. Once the highway is clear, the eastbound side of I-84 near exit 16 will be closed for approximately two hours, for accident reconstruction.


Original article:

A state police officer stationed at Troop A in Southbury said Interstate 84 Eastbound is currently shut down in Middlebury due to a multi-vehicle accident.

Police have not released a statement, but according to information transmitted over the scanner the accident involves a tractor trailer and several vehicles. It reportedly took place near exit 16 in Middlebury.

At least one patient was reportedly being transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury. A hospital spokesperson was not immediately available for comment Tuesday evening.

Motorists should expect traffic delays in the area as emergency officials are still on scene.

Patch will update this article as more information becomes available.

Joan November 21, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Amen Jaimie And I'm sorry to talk about the details of the accident so early on. It's upsetting to hear is all. And right before Thanksgiving somehow makes it worse. Praying for all the injured and the woman from Massachusetts who passed away. Please keep us posted on how the injured are doing.
JWolf November 21, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Every day I drive I-84 from exit 6 to exit 10. Within that short distance I see at least one accident in the morning and one in the evening. Normally its on the opposing side but it is still there. The problem is the idiots driving not the vehicle no one pays attention to whats going on around them. So many also drive like complete morons weaving in and out, using the truck hill lane to pass then cut all the way over to the fast lane or as is common its the jackwaggon that causes the accident going on their merry way as vehicles slam into eachother behind them cause they cut someone off. I drive arouns 70mph like most everyone around me but its the people who are going 80+ weaving in and out that cause the most harm. Also the jerks that slip in where there is no room going faster than the car ahead and slamming the brakes thus causing a mass break check behind them. From the latest reports it was a massive break check that caused this and sadly as we all know air breaks or not the laws of Physics say a tractor trailer cannnot stop as fast as a car/suv/pickup truck and why a Motorcycle can stop on a dime almost. Weight and Mass vs Velocity. Simple Physics.
Chris Barnabo November 21, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Joan, the predominant reason tractor trailers jackknife is emergency braking when someone cuts into their lane or otherwise fails to leave adequate space around the truck. Most drivers fail to leave an adequate buffer between their car and other vehicles, especially trucks. Locations where there are lanes merging in (such as up thru & past Waterbury) or where curves and hills reduce sightlines just make the problem worse. Of course, that's a generalization and may not be the case in this tragedy. From the description in the 10:45am update it sounds like the tractor trailer (the "sixth vehicle owned by Penske", why couldn't they just call it by name?) may have rear-ended another car triggering chain reaction, it could simply be that he didn't see traffic slowing until it was too late or was following too close himself. Physics is a cruel mistress.
Michael Shea November 21, 2012 at 06:07 PM
JWolf - good observations. They ought to just get rid of those "slow vehicle" lanes that are used by jerks to pass everyone on the right and then make everyone slam their brakes on when the jerk cuts back in. Traffic would flow much better without them. They ought to also try a few big flashing signs that say "Maintain Your Speed Going Uphill".
Connor Abbot November 21, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Very sad that this happened
Joan November 21, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Chris Barnabo, Yes, I can picture the scenario you wrote in your comment. I've seen people cut off tractor-trailers a million times, although it seems to me most people do know to leave a tractor-trailer more room than a car. Still, there are many people who obviously don't know. I remember a public service campaign about motorcycles...about them not being seen as well as we see cars. There were commercials and bumper stickers and this was only about 10 years ago. I still see those bumper stickers. Maybe bumper stickers for tractor-trailers would help as a reminder to people. I love your closing statement. The bumper stickers could say, "Don't cut this vehicle off. Physics is a cruel mistress."
barb norman November 21, 2012 at 07:06 PM
The government?? What about personal responsibility? Drive that stretch of road (or any stretch of 84) - look st the speed limit, and see how fast the majority of drivers are going! As for the truckers - the most unintelligent drivers do not seem to realize that a vehicle that large needs more time and space to stop than a smaller car. Give these guys a break! This is their livelihood - they are not about to jeopardize their lives and their jobs for fun and games. Let's put the responsibility on the shoulders of the main culprits - the drivers who think the speed limit signed are posted for everyone else but them!
Matt Crepon November 21, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I also drive I-84 4 days a week from 17 to 8 or 6. There are a lot of trucks on this particular stretch and I think for the most part they do a pretty good job. There's something to be said though for some that drive too fast and aggressively. I had one try to pass me in the slow lane near Exit 11 going west a few weeks ago. I agree though, it's the morons in cars that are the biggest hazard on this road. Some of them just have no regard for others and drive downright recklessly. I suppose most highways have the same problems but adding the tractor trailer factor makes it that much more dangerous. The things some people will do just to pass ONE CAR...it's unreal. I generally drive the speed limit so I try to stay out of the death trap that is the passing lane and watch for surprise idiots cutting me off from the climbing lane.
onceuponanewtown November 21, 2012 at 07:13 PM
This is very sad! In some states trucks are only allowed in the fast lane to pass and are limited to 55mph while general traffic speed limit is 70mph.
Joan November 21, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Chris Barnabo, Yes, I've noticed that I-84 changes from two lanes, to three lanes, back to two lanes quite a bit, and that can't be easy for a tractor-trailer in heavy traffic. And yes, travelling east, beginning in Southbury, 84 gets hillier and there are more curves. I've also heard that crowned roads contribute to tractor-trailers jackknifing. The next time I drive through the Southbury to Waterbury stretch, I'm going to look to see if the road is crowned there, or if it's crowned at a steeper pitch than the rest of 84. Now I'm just curious to know.
Wondering November 21, 2012 at 07:16 PM
In reality, there are really bad drivers everywhere. Some roads are more crowded than others. There are problems here but I lived in Detroit and if you were at a red light, I could guarantee you that once your light turned green, two people from the cross street will run their newly-turn red light to make a left hand turn in front of you.
Steven DeVaux November 21, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Amazing that there aren't problems on the Autobahn in Germany like this.
Joan November 21, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I remember this news story. A worldwide news story from just a year ago: Autobahn Pileup: 52-Car German Crash Kills 3 (VIDEO) www.huffingtonpost.com/.../autobahn-pileup-52-car-pileup_n_1102820.html - Cached Nov 19, 2011 ... BERLIN — Police say a 52-vehicle pileup on a highway in northwestern Germany has left three people dead and 35 injured. The accident ...
John L November 21, 2012 at 08:39 PM
As a truck driver I am sincerely impressed with the many astute observations here. I wish this conversation could be extended to every driver in the US. With a little more awareness of driving situations and driver behavior as evidenced here, and an injection of common sense, thousands of lives could be saved. And then again you get comments like the last one!
John L November 21, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Sorry, I meant the comment about different speed limits for trucks than cars. As a driver of a car, you don't want that. As a driver of a truck, I don't want this. Most trucks on the highway today are governed at 65 anyway.
James Redway November 21, 2012 at 10:49 PM
The truth is that you can have all sorts of state-sponsored studies looking at road conditions, more regulations, or special speed limits, but when human error enters the equation all bets are off. Unfortunately bad things happen to good people and it is a huge tragedy for the family of this poor woman, and the others that were injured in this terrible accident. I was up there with the MVFD yesterday afternoon into the evening. It was right near the South Street Bridge on the uphill side. Its a hill, but the road is straight. The South Street Bridge is the Bermuda Triangle of I-84. I have been to more fatal accidents in that one area than any other stretch of highway in Middlebury. Late last night just as the MVFD was ready to secure, there was yet another accident on the other side of the highway… a rollover. Today about an hour ago we were dispatched to, believe it or not, another accident on I-84 east, closer to exit 16. The MVFD posts weekly fire call lists on our Facebook page: http://facebook.com/MiddleburyFire These are posted every Monday. If you look at them, you will see how many MVAs we respond to, both on Middlebury roads and on I-84. We invite local residents to follow us on Facebook.
Scott November 21, 2012 at 11:36 PM
From Newburgh to Hartford I-84 is a poorly constructed interstate with constant dangerous turns combined with left lane exits and left merges. It is a glorified country road with poor grading and dangerous bridges. There are also merge lanes overlapping with exit lanes Sections of the highway should be 45-55 MPH or should have flashing variable speed limit signs for when there is congestion. I think a lot of the trucks are on I-84 because of I-95. It would cost millions now but they need to straighten it.
aag November 22, 2012 at 03:12 AM
ok so the driver was a good friend of mine who leaves a 9 yr old son and a loving husband. a life takrn to quickly. the truck did not jack knife he fell asleep and slammed into her car, the force was so impactful it was a chain reaction of 4 other cars. please let her r.i.p
jill November 22, 2012 at 05:44 AM
yes, the driver fell asleep at the wheel and killed a mother, friend, and a wonderful person who touched every life she encountered with love, belief, and knowledge. A living angel! It must have been wobbling and pushed her car into 4 others and totaled them,,,, fast driving and sleeping!
jill November 22, 2012 at 05:46 AM
this time it was the drive of the huge truck, sleeping at the wheel while driving way to fast in rush hour...ask the state police...it is the official report!
Really? November 22, 2012 at 06:00 AM
I believe everyone here is sorry for the loss of your friend, as am I. I think that everyone is just very sad to see yet another unfortunate accident on this heavily traveled road. May she rest in peace.
jaz ayers November 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Laurie Carvalho was an AMAZING woman.Her personality was bigger then life and she had an enourmous capacity to LOVE unconditionally. She was my Manager, My friend...she was a mother, a daughter and a wife...and she touched all of our lives. I LOVE you LAURIE R.I.P
John November 22, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Highways were built for trucks not cars ban cars make them take side roads !
linda mansur November 22, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Joan I am a truck driver and I will tell you that its not all the trucks fault for accidents. I am sorry I have been driving 28 yrs and I have seen the way that cars like to play with trucks and now the big thing I see all the time and I am dead tired of it is people texting, talking on cells and forget where they are.. in the middle lane doing 50mph and then everyone around them are getting mad.. So don't just blame the trucker we are out here trying to do our jobs and its not easy when we have to deal with people who are distracted from driving... and no its not only the cars that do it I have seen trucks also doing it.. not sure why they put laws into place if the laws are not enforced. The laws are no texting and driving.. hands free to talk on cells.. no one does it.. and this is what causes road rage and accident.. put the phones down and drive.. you are behind the wheel save your life... So please don't just blame the trucks we are not all bad people.. I have been driving accident free on the new england highways for 28 years and it is hard to stay that way with all the rage. Now I have a 29 year old son who has become a truck driver and now I have to worry about him not coming home some night. Thank you Lynda Lou
Jaimie Cura (Editor) November 23, 2012 at 04:13 AM
A comment was deleted due to a terms of use violation. I encourage folks to resubmit comments in accordance with the terms: http://woodbury-middlebury.patch.com/d/terms
Jenn Lauziere November 23, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Rip Laurie you will be missed but everyone at tcp and your family is in our prayers.. Love Jenn
Steven DeVaux November 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Billions, not millions.
Justin Che Wilkin November 25, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Wow, Craig, seriously there we have once on the same highway go maybe as fast as 120mph & didn't get hurt.
Justin Che Wilkin November 25, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Im sorry craig, I meant a motorcycle has went maybe as fast as 120mph & the driver didn't get hurt.
Justin Che Wilkin November 25, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Forget about the 1st 1.

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