I was on the scene of some unusual breaking news today in Hartford’s West End. Two HPD cruisers passed me at a high rate of speed with sirens blaring, so the reporter in me took over and I followed them around the block. The officers ran out of their cars in front of a home on Westerly Terrace, one of the city’s more upscale streets. They were greeted by a woman with two crying children, and they were pointing to the back yard.
As it turns out, those girls had survived a pretty nasty crash that happened in the, wait for it…..the backyard.
A police officer on the scene told me the grandmother was turning around in a driveway in her Toyota Camry with her two grandchildren in the backseat when she hit the accelerator instead of the brakes. The car went down the driveway, which is a bit of a hill, barreled across the yard, crashed into a tree, flipped up a bit so the tree crushed the roof, and then came to rest against a fence. I added an arrow to give you a sense of what happened. Police are investigating why the car wouldn’t stop, whether the woman didn’t apply the brakes after mistakenly hitting the accelerator, or the brakes didn’t work, or something else.
Amazingly, we are told the driver and the kids got out of the car with just scrapes and bruises, but the impact was so forceful, the seatbelts left marks on the girls’ chests. The grandmother seemed a little more banged up and was taken by stretcher to an ambulance and then the hospital. The girls were also brought to the emergency room.
One thing is clear, those seatbelts saved their lives. By the way, if the house where the crash happened looks familiar, it is the one time home of reknowned poet Wallace Stevens. It now serves as the deanery to the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.
Read about my own crash here: https://dennishouse.tv/2013/04/12/my-close-call-in-traffi/