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Deadly ice snarls commute and damages property across Connecticut

Statewide the state police fielded 726 calls for service Wednesday including 285 accidents, 30 of which were with injury.

BRISTOL, Conn. — Luckily, the temperature warmed up by mid-morning. But the rain followed by a flash freeze in the early Wednesday morning hours caused black ice and a chaotic commute.

The state Department of Transportation called the weather event “the perfect storm.”

“All of a sudden the rain came just before the morning rush hour and started freezing against the road surface,” said CT DOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti. “We haven’t had an ice storm like this since 2014 and even that one wasn’t like this where it hit right at rush hour.”

RELATED: Freezing rain causes school delays, closures, and crashes

In Bristol, it was a not-so-pleasant morning on Pleasant View Avenue.

Brian Grom was sipping his morning coffee when his doorbell camera captured his neighbor’s car careening down the steep incline.

The woman inside was pulling out of her driveway and never even shifted into drive.

“I heard a loud banging,” Grom said. “By the time I ran to the front door, the lady who lives two houses up, her car went right by here sideways.”

He added: “She was crying. She had her children in the car.”

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Sadly, she wasn’t the only driver Grom saw get into trouble on Wednesday.

“One of them went all the way down to that yellow house and smashed right into him,” he said.

Drew Boisvert lives in that yellow house, located on East Road, directly adjacent to the bottom of the hill.

The sound he heard Wednesday morning was very familiar, he said.

“Last time they hit the garage was about 5 years ago,” Boisvert said. “This time they ran into the house.”

The SUV smashed into his sunroom, knocking down the heat and electricity. Thankfully no one inside the house was hurt, but the driver was taken to a local hospital.

“Makes me think about it. Not living here. It’s the worst spot. Right down the middle of the road and they come here,” he told FOX61

RELATED: Stranded drivers endure frigid night on impassable highway near DC

The Connecticut State Police said they got slammed with a tsunami of 911 calls.

“Statewide, 726 calls for service - 285 accidents, 30 of which were with injury. And we had 101 motorist assists,” said Sgt. Dawn Pagan of the Connecticut State Police. “Any accidents involving injuries will always take precedence over something of that nature. You have to manage it the best you can.”

State Police said there was one fatality after a crash on I-395 in Plainville, where a vehicle went off the road, down an embankment and into some trees, killing a 57-year-old man from Sterling.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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