Meriden, CT Head On Crash Kills Five, May 1999



Meriden - Five people were killed in a head-on collision between a Volkswagen Beetle and a pickup truck on I-91 Friday.
State police confirmed witnesses reports that just after 7 p.m. the Nissan pickup truck left the northbound lanes of I-91 at high speed, crossed the grass median and crashed into the oncoming red Volkswagen, killing the four occupants.
The driver of the pickup also died.
Police closed the highway backing up traffic for more than 5 miles in both directions. The crash occurred near the Wallingford town line, between exits 15 and 16.
One passenger from the Volkswagen was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital and was later pronounced dead, said Lt. Ralph Carpenter, a state police spokesman. The body of the truck driver and the three others from the Volkswagen were removed from the crash scene shortly after 9 p.m.
Carpenter said it was unlikely the identities of the victims would be released until today. Three of the victims were men and two were women, he said. All are believed to be Connecticut residents.
John McEwan, 42, a truck driver from Wisconsin, said he was about 100 feet behind the Volkswagen as he watched the accident unfold. He estimated the Beetle was traveling about 65 mph, as he was.
After the collision, McEwan said, he stopped and extinguished an engine fire that had erupted in the silver pickup.
Several other vehicles, including a station wagon owned by Channel 30, were involved in the accident, but no other injuries were reported. Accident reconstruction experts had begun their work by 9 p.m.

Hartford Courant Connecticut 1999-05-22