Names of Pedestrians Injured in Newington Crash Released

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Richard Ruiz said he was in the right place at the right time to help three pedestrians who were hit by a pickup in Newington on Tuesday. Witnesses say he is a hero.

    Newington police are investigating a crash that injured three pedestrians on Christian Lane around 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

    Police identified the three victims as Denissa Aviles, 23, Evelinda Rodriguez, 43, and Jerry Torres, 18, all of New Britain.

    Torres was released from the hospital. Aviles and Rodriguez are still hospitalized recovering from their injuries

    Witnesses said that a teal pickup hit three people who were crossing the road, dragging them as the driver continued to drive.

    "He came out of nowhere. He just plowed them. He didn't bother putting no breaks on. He just hit and kept on going," Richard Ruiz, of New Britain, said.

    Ruiz said he was driving up Christian Lane in a white van when he saw the driver run over two women and a young boy.

    "He dragged those people like 50 feet. He dragged all three of them," said Ruiz.

    When he saw the car wasn't stopping, Ruiz cut across the road in his white van to block the driver's path.

    "He bumped into me. He reversed it, tried to get away, but I was on him. He wasn't going nowhere," said Ruiz. "At first he was saying, 'I'm nervous. I'm nervous. I've got to get out of here.' And I said, 'Well you're not going nowhere. These people are hurt. Let's help them.' And he didn't want to, but I dragged him over there."

    Police said that while the victims sustained broken bones and cuts, the injuries are non-life threatening.

    Juanita Madera, Ruiz's brother, said he is a guy who would do anything for anyone.

    "He called me and said there was an accident and someone hit three pedestrian (sic) and he stopped the guy," Madera said.

    She drove to the scene to find flashing lights, officers and her brother's van still stretched across the road.

    "My brother, he is all shaken up. This is the first time he did anything like that. I am so proud of him," Madera said.

    Witnesses told NBC Connecticut that the scene was ugly, but that without the van stopping the other car, it could have been worse. They called the man with the white van a hero, but Ruiz believes he was simply in the right place at the right time.

    "I'm no hero. I just did what I had to do. I feel sorry for those people that got hit," said Ruiz.

    Police identified the driver as Keith Loosemore, 32, of East Hampton. No charges have been filed.

    Authorities said there is no indication that the driver was intoxicated or had a medical condition. He is cooperating with police.

    Ruiz said he and friends are planning a fundraiser to help the three victims.

    Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call Newington Police at 860-666-8445.