Residents Call for Safeguards After Fatal Branford Crash

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013  |  Updated 8:23 AM EDT
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After a fatal crash in Branford on Sunday, two Good Samaritans said safety measures need to be taken to prevent this from happening again.

After a fatal crash in Branford on Sunday, two Good Samaritans said safety measures need to be taken to prevent this from happening again.

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A 28-year-old Branford woman has died after a car crash early Sunday morning and people in the community are calling for safeguards because this is just the most recent of several serious crashes in the area.

Branford police officers and firefighters responded to a crash at Brushy Plains Road at Overland Court at 1:21 a.m. on Sunday and found a car that had crashed into a tree, police said.

The driver was out of the car, but the passenger, Megan Mcauliffe, was trapped and the vehicle was on fire when crews first arrived.

Emergency crews were able to remove Mcauliffe and drag her from the vehicle.

Members of the Branford Fire Department arrived and paramedics treated Mcauliffe for life-threatening injuries and immediately transported her to Yale-New Haven Hospital, were she died on Sunday night, police said.

Police said Vincent Mauro, 31, of the same Branford address as Mcauliffe, was driving. south on Brushy Plains Road when he lost control of the car, went off the right side of the road and hit a large tree, police said.

Two Good Samaritans, Kristine Lockwood and Susan Macbeth, also ran to help during the crash. They called 911 and then ran outside their home to help.

“I grabbed her under the arms, and he was trying to get her legs out because they were pinned under the dashboard, and he started to beat on the dashboard and he got her legs out and, at that point, the cops came and pulled her out and then the car just went, ‘whoosh,’ up in flames,” Lockwood said. 

In the 11 years the two have lived at the Brushy Plain Road home, it's the fourth serious car crash on their property. Even though the speed limit is 25 miles per hour, they say cars race along the curvy road, which is known to some as Snake Hill Road.

"Friday, Saturday nights, there's always that noise, and you're just waiting for the thud," said Lockwood.

The two are hoping the Connecticut Department of Transportation will consider additional safety features for the road, whether that includes adding lights, signage or guardrails. They hope it will help prevent a fifth crash.

"[McAuliffe] would probably be alive today and she wouldn't have gotten the brunt of the accident because her side hit the tree," said MacBeth.

A spokesperson for DOT said they're always willing to look at what can be done but cannot guarantee anything.

The Branford First Selectman said, for now, there are no plans to increase law enforcement presence in the area to monitor drivers's speed.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing and no charges have been filed.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Officer Melissa Carney at 203-481-4241.

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