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One Killed, One Injured
In I-84 Crash
By Andrew Gorosko
A Norwalk woman was killed and a Danbury woman was seriously injured on the afternoon of Saturday, November 17, after the sports car that the Danbury woman was driving on westbound Interstate 84 in Hawleyville went off the right side of the highway at the Exit 9 off-ramp and then crashed down an embankment.
State police said that Traci Anne Marie Pascarelli, 22, of Norwalk, who was the passenger in a 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata, which is a small, lightweight two-seat convertible roadster, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 1:14 pm crash.
A spokeswoman for the chief state medical examiner’s office said that an autopsy indicated that Pascarelli died as a result of multiple blunt traumatic injuries.
Â Larissa Nicole Peterson, 18, of Danbury, who was the driver in the accident, suffered serious incapacitating injuries and was transported by the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Danbury Hospital for medical treatment, state police report.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, November 20, Peterson was in fair condition in Danbury Hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman.Â
The owner of the auto involved in the crash is Jill M. Pascarelli, who has the same Norwalk address as the deceased, according to state police.
Hawleyville and Newtown Hook & Ladder volunteer firefighters responded to the accident scene. Firefighters were positioned on both I-84 and on the parallel Barnabas Road.Â
State police report that the Mazda was traveling westward on I-84 near the Exit 9 off-ramp, when for an unknown reason, Peterson veered to the right and struck some guardcabling at the right road shoulder. The Mazda then traveled down the embankment.
The vehicle’s convertible roof, which was in the closed position when the accident occurred, was damaged in the crash, state police said.
Ray Corbo, Newtown Hook & Ladder’s first assistant chief, who served as incident commander at the accident, said it appears that the low-slung sports car drove beneath the guardcabling as it veered off the highway with the guardcablingÂ shearing off the vehicle’s windshield off at its base.
After responding to the call, Hawleyville firefighters swiftly removed Peterson from the auto and brought her up the embankment to I-84 where an ambulance crew transported her to the hospital, Corbo said.
Hook & Ladder firefighters remained at the accident scene until 5:15 pm, assisting state police while they investigated the crash.
Â The cause of the accident remains under investigation, according to state police.
Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact state police at the Troop A barracks in Southbury at 203-267-2200. Trooper John McGeever is the investigator.
The accident investigation caused travel delays on the highway while the probe was underway. Westbound traffic was restricted to one travel lane. State police closed the Exit 9 off-ramp to investigate.