Highway Safety

‘A Really Dangerous Place': Concerns for First Responders Working on Roads

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From a firefighter being hit in Cromwell to a police officer struck in Stonington, there are concerns for those working on the road.

“It's just a real stark reminder that the side of the road, the side of the highway is a really dangerous place to be,” said CT DOT spokesperson Josh Morgan.

“Seeing another law enforcement officer hit by a vehicle today, it’s very disturbing. It’s stuff that we hope never happens to us or any of our brothers and sisters in law enforcement,” said Connecticut State Police Sgt. Christine Jeltema.

Stonington Police tell us Sergeant Mario Ritacco is in stable condition after a scary scene on Route 184 Monday morning.

Investigators report a driver hit a parked cruiser which then struck Ritacco who had been working a road job.

“We are very concerned about our sergeant. We want to make sure he is getting the best treatment,” said Stonington Police Deputy Chief Todd Olson. 

We’re told he was flown by LifeStar to a hospital in Rhode Island.

And it comes after earlier this month, a Cromwell firefighter responding to a crash was struck by a car which apparently lost control on Route 9.

“A crash can happen in a matter of moments. So put the phone down, pay attention. And when you come across the work zone or a crash scene, slow down, move over a lane so that there's plenty of room for people to work,” said Morgan.

The Department of Transportation runs special training for anyone who works on the road.

State Police say they want people to be careful when driving, especially when first responders or other crews are in the area.

“A lot of construction there are signs that says if a lane is going to be closed or if there is construction up ahead. Adhere to those signs. They are there for a reason,” said Jeltema.

State Police are investigating the crash in Stonington.

At this point, it’s not clear what caused it.

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