Police Pursue Criminal Charges After Deadly Seymour Wreck
by STAFF | Apr 12, 2017 10:59 am
Seymour Deputy Police Chief Paul Satkowski said his department is pursuing criminal charges against the driver of the car that crashed into a utility pole on Rimmon Street last night.
The crash left a 20-year-old man dead. He was a passenger in the car.
The man who died has been identified as Shyheim Samuel of Derby.
He lived on Fifth Street.
The driver’s name has not been released, nor have the names of the other passengers in the vehicle.
Six people were in the four-door Infiniti sedan — three men, 18, 20, and 22 years old, and three females, 14, 15, and 16 years old.
Satkowski said everyone in the car was from either Derby or Bridgeport.
Some passengers in the back were not wearing seat belts, Satkowski said.
All of the people in the car were taken to area hospitals with injuries ranging from serious to life-threatening, Satkowski said.
“Some of those have been stabilized and they’re all in serious condition,” Satkowski said about noon Wednesday.
Samuel was a former Derby student, as was a second person in the crash who is in stable condition at an area trauma center.
Derby Schools Superintendent Matthew Conway met with the families Wednesday morning.
“Our Derby family is saddened by the news of the accident in Seymour involving two Derby residents and former students,” Conway wrote in an email.
The Derby school district is currently on spring break.
“We have reached out to our extended family members to support them in every way we can. Support services will be available at the high school for any students today and tomorrow and when students return to school next week,” the superintendent said.
The crash happened Tuesday about 9:30 p.m.
Rimmon Street resident Janusz Balikowski said he was inside his house watching TV when he heard the crash.
“I heard a very, very loud explosion,” Balikowski said.
The power went out. Then police, fire, and ambulance vehicles filled the street.
Immediately after the crash Satkowski said speed was a factor.
Balikowski said that’s not a surprise.
“It’s big trouble, this street,” he said. “Sometimes they drive like it’s a highway.”
A press conference from Wednesday morning is embedded below:
The utility pole snapped in three places after being struck by the car, police said.
Firefighters had to negotiate downed wires and the unstable utility pole while they pulled the people out of the vehicle, which had flipped over onto its roof.
The car involved is registered in Derby, the deputy chief said.
Satkowski said police believe there were two people in the front of the car and four in the back seat. The number of people in the back seat raises questions about whether the car was over-crowded, a factor police are investigating.
It’s unclear precisely what was happening in the vehicle in the moments leading up to the wreck.
Asked if police suspected operating under the influence, Satkowski said it’s too early in the investigation to say.
“Evidence was seized from that scene and all that will be analyzed and reviewed,” Satkowski said. “Obviously it’s a crime scene because there’s a death involved. As part of the accident investigation there’s certain things that were seized there that will assist in the investigation.”
The state police Collision Accident Reconstruction Squad will help Seymour police with the investigation, he said.
“It’s going to be a lengthy, complete, and thorough investigation,” Satkowski said. “We have a lot of work to do in the coming days and months ahead of us to try to piece everything together as to what happened last night.”
Several posts referred to TUESDAY’s fatal crash in Seymour as happening Monday. We regret the error and the stories have been updated. Special thanks to reader Dawnmarie Selling Hunter for pointing out the correct day.