Driver dies after car crashes off overpass onto I-91Posted: Updated:
The driver of a vehicle that crashed through a concrete wall and off an overpass before plummeting to the median on Interstate 91 in Windsor Tuesday has died.
Police said Richard Mazzella, 46, of Clinton, died Wednesday morning at Hartford Hospital.
Police said Mazzella was driving in the HOV lane and took the exit at a high rate of speed. For some reason Mazzella didn't stop at the end of the ramp and he crashed through the wall and fell more than 20 feet to the road below.
The vehicle landed upside down and burst into flames.
Police said they still don't know why Mazzella didn't slow down as he was exiting the highway and are asking anyone that may have seen the crash to call them.
"I know that guy must have been flying pretty fast," said Anthony Villanueva. "There's rebar and everything else in that concrete he'd have to get through."
The hole where a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee blasted through the barrier on this bridge has been closed up.
Engineers from the Connecticut Department of Transportation told Eyewitness News the barriers are designed to handle a large percentage of the impacts, which are on an angle of 35 degrees or less.
However, the barriers are not made to withstand a direct hit at 90 degrees, DOT officials said.
"This is as strong as it gets," said DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick. "When you increase the angle of attack, you basically turn a vehicle into a bunker buster."
Another theory on the crash is that when the SUV hit the sidewalk it went airborne and hit the barrier at a pretty high spot, which would give the SUV more leverage to knock it over.
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