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Updated at 6 pm January 28.
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Botsford Fire Rescue Chief Wayne Ciaccia has seen many horrific traffic crashes, but as he approached the scene of a multi-vehicle wreck on Huntingtown Road Friday night, he observed, “one of the cars was destroyed — it looked like a train hit it.”
Newtown Police have reason to believe two of the three vehicles involved in the 7:17 pm crash near 79 Huntingtown Road on January 27 may have been racing, and one that was reportedly traveling in the wrong lane crested a hill and hit an oncoming vehicle head-on.
Police Chief James Viadero told The Newtown Bee that two cars were traveling at a high rate of speed on Huntingtown Road when they both passed witnesses operating their own vehicles in the area.
Chief Viadero said that an unidentified operator then witnessed the two cars race down Huntingtown Road, with “a black car staying in the opposite lane.”
“When the two cars crested a hill, the black car hit another vehicle head-on,” Chief Viadero said.
Several of those involved sustained “non-life threatening injuries,” he said. Two of the three drivers involved in the incident were transported to the hospital.
The official police report, which was released at 5:41 pm Saturday added the following details:
“Two of the vehicles, a 2007 Audi A4 and 2004 Audi A6, had sustained significant damage as a result of collision. Through further investigation including assessment of the scene and statements from witnesses, it is believed that two vehicles were traveling at a high rate of speed, passing vehicles, and racing each other while traveling southbound on Huntingtown Road.
“The two racing vehicles were a white 1997 BMW being operated by Bailey Prestera (DOB 08/25/1995) of 38 Philo Curtis Road, and a 2004 Audi A6 being operated by Adam Debowski (DOB 09/25/1995) of 25 Pine Tree Hill Road in Newtown,” the report states.
“Multiple individuals reported both vehicles were traveling side-by side down Huntingown Road when Debowski’s vehicle, which was on the wrong side of the road, struck another vehicle head-on,” the report continues.
“Debowski’s vehicle and the victim’s vehicle both sustained significant damage from the collision. Three parties were transported to the Danbury Hospital for non-life threatening injuries as a result of the collision.
“Police arrested Prestera and charged him with Reckless Driving, Racing, possession of less than 1/2 (oz) marijuana, passing in a no-passing zone, and driving too fast for conditions. He was released on $250 bond and is scheduled to appear in Danbury Court on February 14.
“Police investigation into the accident is still ongoing and further arrests are expected,” the report concludes.
Chief Viadero told The Newtown Bee he expects the lead investigating officer “will be going for an arrest warrant for the operator of the black car. He might also face DUI charges.” A photo provided to the newspaper shows several beverage cans lined up atop one of the wrecked vehicles.
Botsford Chief Ciaccia said it appeared that one vehicle left the roadway and had overturned several times, but all occupants were out of two of the three cars as he arrived on the scene and took command of fire responders also responding to the scene.
Chief Ciaccia said he and approximately eight other firefighters who initially responded had to remove a door from the third vehicle to free the female driver.
Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps also responded, and transported victims who required advanced medical attention.