Two 71-year-old women were killed in a fiery crash on Interstate 95 North in Old Lyme Wednesday that closed the highway for more than seven hours.
Police identified the two women as 71-year-old Eleanor McCarthy, of Guilford, and 71-year-old Iris Cooper, of Ambler, Pennsylvania.
State police said a tractor-trailer was stopped the right lane of the highway, between exits 70 and 71, just before 2 p.m. because of a traffic backup and McCarthy’s 2003 Ford Mustang was stopped behind it when a dump truck came up behind it and hit it.
The impact sent the Mustang into the back of the tractor-trailer, and the car burst into flames, according to state police.
McCarthy and her passenger, Cooper, died of injuries sustained in the crash, according to police.
Evidence at the scene indicated that the driver of the dump truck hit the brakes hard, but was not able to stop in time, according to state police.
The highway reopened just before 9:30 p.m., according to state police. While the highway was closed, state police diverted traffic off the highway at exit 70.
Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information about the crash to call Troop F in Westbrook at 860-399-2100.