Police Investigate Whether Drag Racing Lead to Fatal Crash

New Haven police are investigating to determine whether drag racing played a part in a deadly accident Sunday morning.

Police were called to Long Wharf Drive between the Canal Dock and the Interstate 95 northbound entrance ramp around 12:18 a.m. Sunday.

Initially, police believed it was an accident involving a single car that struck the barrier. Police said 20-year-old Olvin Cruz, of New Haven, was ejected from the car.

Cruz, the driver and a female passenger and the driver were all rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Police said Cruz was pronounced dead at the hospital at about 12:44 a.m.

The female passenger, identified as 19-year-old Ninoska Roman, of New Haven, underwent surgery and was listed in critical condition.

The driver, 29-year-old John Rodriguez, also of New Haven, was conscious and alert at the scene and suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Rodriguez told officers another car cut him off while he was trying to enter the highway, according to police.

While police were investigating, a witness reported that a white Toyota Rav4 had been involved and was parked on Church Street South near Union Avenue.

Police found the Rav4 parked on the street with the driver still inside.

The driver, a man who has not been publicly identified, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. It is not clear if the Toyota was involved in the crash.

Police said Long Wharf Drive is known for drag racing, and officers are investigating to determine whether that played a part in the accident.

According to police, the car that crashed had been turbo-charged and modified in the style of a typical street racing car.

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