Update: Police Interview Surviving Driver

Police have interviewed the driver of a Toyota Tacoma involved in a crash Monday that took the life of a Derby woman.

Police interviewed Christmas Neustadter, 40, of New Haven, at Yale-New Have Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

Marie Lepri was killed instantly after her Toyota Corolla and the pickup truck collided head-on on Roosevelt Drive (Route 34).

Lepri was heading westbound, according to police. Neustadter was traveling east.

Police are still investigating the events that led to the crash. An accident reconstruction team was on the scene for hours Monday night.

A state judicial database shows Neustadter was charged in Derby on Dec. 22, 2009 with three motor vehicle charges — illegal operation of a motor vehicle, failure to drive in the proper lane and operating a vehicle with unsafe tires.

The case is listed as “pending.” A re-arrest order was issued for Neustadter March 16.

Neustadter’s Facebook profile contains an entry from about 9 p.m. Monday.

“Christmas in a car accident, rushed to Yale,” it reads.

Note: Original post from late Monday follows:

A 43-year-old woman is dead after a head-on crash on Roosevelt Drive in Derby.

The crash happened at 5:39 p.m. Monday.

Authorities did not release her name Monday, but the Valley Independent Sentinel has learned she is Marie Lepri, a married Derby mother with two young daughters.

Details of the accident are still under investigation, but Lepri was apparently on her way to Seymour to pick up her children when the crash happened.

She was killed instantly.

The accident happened near Pink House Cove, west of Lakeview Terrace.

Lepri was driving a sedan. The other vehicle was a pickup truck.

FacebookMatthew Sabetta, a reader from Seymour, wrote on the Valley Indy’s Facebook page that the vehicles were a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota truck.

Police did not release the name of the 41-year-old pick-up truck driver.

Firefighters had to use the jaws of life to rescue the man from his vehicle. He was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital on a trauma alert. His injuries were described as serious, but not life-threatening.

There were no passengers in either vehicle.

Emergency officials responded to Roosevelt Drive (Route 34) after receiving several 911 calls about the crash, according to a press release from Derby police.

Derby police said the crash is being investigated by an accident reconstruction team with officers from Derby, Shelton and Trumbull.

As of 11:30 p.m. Monday, police and firefighters were still on the scene. Roosevelt Drive remained closed in both directions between Lakeview Terrace and Cullens Hill Road.

Traffic was being diverted off Route 34 and onto those side streets.

Derby police ask anyone with information about the accident to call them at (203) 735-7811.

Click here for a map of the area.


posted by: kmac on June 7, 2010  6:47pm

I just found out a short time ago my friend was the one that did not survive.  Marie always had a smile on her face, and made everyone laugh,and made you feel good. No matter what mood I was in, I would walk away happy.  I will miss you, Marie, as will many, many others. Peace be with your husband, daughters, and family.  Kathleen

posted by: Single Dad on June 7, 2010  9:58pm

People just drive much too fast everywhere. We are all ending up in the same place at the end of life.  R.I.P.  Please slow down people.

posted by: superbus on June 8, 2010  12:16am

I live on this road. I know what happened. Someone - I don’t want to name names, but I’m 98% sure it’s the guy in the pick-up - tried to pass a slower driver, and didn’t look ahead of the curve. It’s a crappy road to drive, more so when some . . . thinks he owns the road. It happens on this road too often.

And once again, it killed someone. Again, I’m 98% sure the person that died is not at fault. Go figure.