A 41-year old Massachusetts woman was killed in a six-car crash on Interstate 84 in Middlebury on Tuesday night.
Five cars were stopped in the left lane of the highway because of heavy traffic when the driver of a Penske truck hit the last car, causing a chain reaction crash, according to state police.
Police said Juan Martinez, 22, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was driving the Penske truck just after 4 p.m. and hit a Nissan Rouge driven by Laurie Carvalho, 41, of North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Carvalho was killed in the crash.
The back-up started on the eastbound lanes in Middlebury and they were shut down through 11 p.m. on Tuesday.
Some drivers told NBC Connecticut they had never seen traffic this bad.
“No never, never in my life,” said Jose Baratim.
Traffic backed up for at least 10 miles and got worse through the night.
“It’s the worst I’ve ever experienced,” said Terri Coleman, who sat in the gridlock for four hours and stopped to fill her car up with gasoline. Coleman was almost on empty before she was diverted off the interstate.
“Something bad happened to somebody. I don't know what it was, but that's what we need to get in our heads,” Coleman added.
The westbound lanes were also backed up as drivers slowed down to look at the horrific scene across the median.
“It’s crazy out here,” said Margarita Alvarez.
The crash was so bad that the Department of Transportation described it as a “war zone.”
“I’m in traffic for a very long time, but someone losing their life … that’s awful,” Alvarez said.
It was an awful start to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
“Just be with your family during the holiday and appreciate the moments,” Alvarez said.
Police are investigating.