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State Police Release Memorial Day Arrest Data, Investigate Fatal Crashes

State Police Trooper Kelly Grant said two fatalities were among the many traffic incidents police investigated over the long Memorial Day holiday.
State Police Trooper Kelly Grant said two fatalities were among the many traffic incidents police investigated over the long Memorial Day holiday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

Two fatalities were among the many traffic incidents investigated by state police over the long Memorial Day holiday, according to Trooper Kelly Grant.

In the first incident, a pedestrian was struck and killed early Saturday while walking along I-84 in Waterbury.

Melvin Gordils, 26, of Bridgeport, was hit by two cars on the highway’s Route 8 ramp around 2 a.m., police said.

In the second fatal incident, a 75-year-old man from Shokan, N.Y., was killed, and his passenger injured, when his car collided with a second vehicle in North Canaan in Litchfield County.

That crash occurred around 5:17 p.m. on Sunday on Canaan Road near Trescott Hill Road, police said.

Ronald A. Westervelt died at the scene, and his passenger, Dixi Westervelt, 75, suffered serious injuries. The driver of the second car, Alexander Cooper, 19, of Lyme, came away from the crash with minor injuries, police said. His passenger, Carter M. Taft, 19, of Fair Haven, N.J., also was slightly injured.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, police said.

Police said total arrests for the entire state from Thursday, May 26, through Monday, May 30, were: 1,263, for speeding; 903, for not wearing a seat belt; and 4,111 for hazardous moving violations.

The violations included unsafe lane changes, following too closely, using a cellphone or texting, and so forth.

State police also made 51 arrests for driving while intoxicated.

They investigated 447 crashes, 74 of which included injuries, and the two (mentioned above) that were fatal.

State police also released statistics for the same enforcement period last year.

According to Grant, these were: speeding, 1,254; lack of seat belt, 1,454; moving violations, 4,548; DWI, 57.

They also investigated 285 crashes in that 2015 period. Of those, 49 involved injuries and two involved fatal injuries.

To read the Daily Voice story about the recent Waterbury fatality, click here.

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