Some of the cars involved in the massive 25-vehicle pileup on Interstate 91 in Middletown Saturday were badly damaged and a Cromwell body shop is busy working on repairing several of them.
Several of the cars towed to Bishop’s Automotive in Cromwell are missing bumpers and have shattered windows and dented wheels.
“Heavy front end damage, you know side damage all over here. You got the whole other side of all the vehicles as well,” Jason Hickton, the first tow truck driver on the scene, said. “The whole part quarter here was basically all gone as well.”
“[It] was like from a movie, you know just coming up over the on ramp on the hill and just seeing all the truck sideways, cars sideways,” he said. “It was pretty intense.”
Before Hickton arrived at the pileup on the southbound lanes near exit 21, first class trooper Vincent Gogluicci, of Connecticut State Police, was the first of the first responders there.
“Conditions were awful. Driving down there was very treacherous. At some points I was going 3 miles per hour just to make it safely to the scene. Visibility was poor -- maybe 50 feet or so,” Trooper Gogluicci said.
In his 16 years with State Police, he has never seen anything like it.
“People were walking around dazed, obviously confused, cold, unsure of what just happened,” he said.
Thirty people were taken to the hospital and Gogluicci is thankful none of them had serious injuries.
“When you get there it’s just hope that you can help tend to the injured, let the fire department, the paramedics, the EMTs start doing their jobs because the patient care and tending to the injured are our number one concern,” Gogluicci said.
He believes the icy roadways caused the 25-vehicle pileup and recommends to try not to drive when you have snowy and icy conditions like those on Saturday.
If you decide to drive, police recommend you keep plenty of space between you and the car in front of you and to take it slow.