State Police Cracking Down on Busy Part of I-95 After Fiery Crash

A stretch of Interstate 95 is known by drivers for accidents, speeding and high traffic volume, which has state police cracking down on drivers not following the law.

State troopers will be visible and out in force on a 16-mile stretch of highway between exit 64 in Westbrook to exit 74 in East Lyme from Nov. 8 until the end of the year. 

"It’s been shown, historically to have a higher rate of accidents," Sgt. Eric Haglund, a state police spokesperson, said.

Between exits 70 and 74, there were 276 crashes with three fatalities in 2015, 303 crashes with four fatalities in 2016 and 224 crashes with one fatality through Oct. 1, 2017, according to data from the Connecticut Crash Data Repository.

Troopers are trying to reduce the severity and frequency of accidents in that area by upping patrol and targeting driver behaviors that contribute to the problem.

"In order to reduce these accidents and reduce these violations. You’ll likely probably see more activity on the side of the roadway. You’re going to see more troopers visible," Haglund said.

DMV inspectors will be participating and the state Department of Transportation will post public safety messages. Driving tips will also be posted on the Connecticut State Police's Facebook page and the Troop F Facebook page.

In 2012, a wrong-way driver on I-95 south in Old Lyme hit and killed three women.

In October, two women who were stopped behind a tractor trailer because of traffic backup were killed in a fiery crash on I-95 north between exits 70 and 71 in Old Lyme. A dump truck crashed into the car and pushed it into the tractor trailer. The Mustang burst into flames and killed the two women inside.

Tami Ballachino’s brother-in-law was driving the tractor trailer.

"Mentally, I don’t know if he’ll ever get over that. It’s just horrible. Horrible. He actually drove it for the first time two weeks ago and it brought back a lot of bad memories," Ballachino said.

She will do everything she can to bypass that part of I-95.

"It’s just too much traffic, too much traffic. Certain times of the day, around 4 o’clock- 5 o’clock, you don’t even move,” Ballachino said.

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