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Connecticut Troopers Investigate Two Fatal Crashes, Clock Driver At 123 MPH

Ricardo Torres of Terryville was charged with reckless driving, risk of injury to a child and reckless endangerment after he was apprehended driving 123 mph in a 55 mph zone of I-84.
Ricardo Torres of Terryville was charged with reckless driving, risk of injury to a child and reckless endangerment after he was apprehended driving 123 mph in a 55 mph zone of I-84. Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

The Connecticut State Police on Monday released the final statistics from the Thanksgiving holiday, which saw three deaths in two highway crashes and a driver arrested for speeding over 100 mph.

Increased patrols by State Troopers began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and concluded at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27.

The holiday weekend was marred by two fatal accidents. One crash occurred at about 9:45 a.m. Friday. Two men from Massachusetts were killed in a fiery crash after their Subaru Legacy slammed into a tree near Exit 14 of westbound I-84 in Southbury, state police said.

The two people killed were the driver, Warren Rynkar, 69, of Malden, Mass., and the lone passenger, his son, John Rynkar, 26, of the same hometown.

In another crash in Branford, a 4-year-old Hamden boy died after a stolen car in which he was a passenger crashed on Route 1 during a police chase Sunday, according to state police. The boy was not in a car seat, state police said.

In one speeding arrest, a 41-year-old man was apprehended while driving 123 mph on I-84 in East Hartford with three children in the car Saturday night, state police said.

There was an adult woman in the passenger seat, and three young passengers in the backseat – a 5-year-old, a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old, state police said. The driver, Ricardo Torres of Terryville, was charged with reckless driving, risk of injury to a child and reckless endangerment.

State police also investigated a six-vehicle crash on the Merritt Parkway in Westport on Sunday evening.

Six people were injured — three of them seriously — in a crash involving two cars and a tow truck that shut down the northbound parkway for an hour between Exits 41 and 42, according to the Westport Fire Department.

The three-vehicle accident involved two cars and a tow truck. A total of six people were injured, three with serious injuries and three with non-life threatening injuries.

State Troopers not only patrolled the roads and highways across Connecticut focusing on drunken driving violations and aggressive drivers, but DUI checkpoints and roving patrols were established.

Here are the final tallies from the long holiday weekend:

  • Speeding violations: 1,007
  • Seatbelt violations: 450
  • Other hazardous moving violations: 2,991 (including unsafe lane change, following too closely, cellphone usage, texting, failure to signal, etc.)
  • DUI arrests: 56
  • Accidents investigated: 496, of which 56 had injuries
  • fatality: 2 accidents, with three fatalities (Nov. 25 on I-84 in Southbury and took over the investigation in the Town of Branford on Nov. 27)
  • Total calls for service: 9,380 (this number includes all numbers already listed)
  • Motorist assists: 421 stranded motorists to include broken down vehicles, flat tires, etc.

For comparison, here are the statistics for the entire 2015 Thanksgiving holiday:

  • Speeding: 1,204
  • Seatbelt Violations: 432
  • Other Hazardous Moving Violations: 3,160, including unsafe lane change, following too closely, cell phone usage, texting, failure to signal, etc.
  • DUI Arrests: 46
  • Accidents Investigated: 513, 59 of which had Injuries, including one fatality

The Connecticut State Police, founded in 1903, is the largest law enforcement agency in the State of Connecticut. More than 1,100 troopers from eleven barracks patrol more than 7,000 miles of roadway and serve as the primary law enforcement agency for 81 towns.

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