WINDSOR, Conn. — Two people are dead after their car crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer in Windsor, police said.
The wrong-way driver was caught on an Uber dash camera on the northbound side of Interstate 91 near exit 38 early Friday morning.
The car would go on to crash head-on into a tractor-trailer. Frederick Beimler, another Uber driver, traveling behind the truck, said he didn't know there was a wrong-way driver and just saw a puff of smoke when the truck crashed.
"I had seen a bunch of smoke in front of the truck and then the truck goes literally sideways across the highway blocking the whole highway," said Beimler of Manchester.
Beimler said he and a FedEx driver immediately pulled over to call 911. The moment left both of them speechless.
"I just sat in the airport parking lot for a good hour and a half, two hours and just tried to grasp the whole thing, put it through my head that I just barely escaped death," added Beimler.
He said he is very grateful to live to see another day.
"if I had stayed at that charging station say two or three minutes less, then that would be me," added Beimler.
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State police told FOX61 they had several witnesses call Troop H in Hartford to report the wrong-way driver, two of those callers being the uber drivers. Shortly after the calls, the car crashed into the truck, officials said.
The driver, 25-year-old Dominique Loiselle of Brighton, Mass., and the passenger, 25-year-old James Bowen, was from East Longmeadow, Mass, were both pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the tractor-trailer was taken to Hartford Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
So far this year, state police have received over 300 reports of wrong-way drivers on Connecticut roadways. Ten of those incidents turned out to be fatal, police said, and 15 of them had reported injuries.
"Our state troopers do a phenomenal job of getting these wrong-way drivers off the road if they're able to stop them before they get into any accidents, and they provide safety to the rest of the citizens that are traveling on the highways," said state police Sgt. Christine Jeltema to FOX61.
What should drivers do if they see a wrong-way driver?
Jeltema said drivers, particularly between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., should utilize the right and center lanes.
"We know that wrong-way drivers tend to believe the left lane is the right lane since they are traveling the wrong way," Jeltema said.
Jeltema also said drivers should call 911 immediately if they see a wrong-way driver and to provide as an exact location as they can. Being mindful while driving, being aware of your surroundings and staying off your phone also will help in these situations, Jeltema said.
The driver of the tractor-trailer suffered only minor injuries. State Police said if you have photos or dash cam video, they would like to see it. You can contact Trooper Dean at 860-534-1098.
Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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