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East Haven Police Make Arrest in Fatal Frontage Road Crash

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East Haven police have arrested a man in connection with a fatal crash on Frontage Road Wednesday.

Police said Johnassis Melendez, 23, is believed to be the driver of a vehicle that crashed into a pole near Home Depot on Frontage Road Wednesday. One person was killed in that crash and another seriously injured.

Melendez is accused of fleeing the scene of that accident. He is being held on criminal and motor vehicle charges. Police said they expect additional charges as the investigation continues.



Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation
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4 Killed, 42 Injured in College Team Bus Crash in North Carolina

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Four people were killed and dozens more injured when a bus carrying a college football team crashed into a highway median in North Carolina Saturday afternoon, NBC News reported.

Forty-six people were on the bus traveling from Clinton College in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to the University of God's Chosen in Fayetteville, North Carolina, when it veered into a highway median near Hamlet, said North Carolina State Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Jeff Gordon.

The crash is under investigation, but Gordon said a tire on the bus likely blew causing it to swerve. He said some of the victims were ejected from the bus.



Photo Credit: Joe Frieda/NBC News

29 Hurt in ‘Intentional’ NYC Blast; No Terror Link, Mayor Says

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Some 29 people were injured in an explosion in Chelsea Saturday night, and authorities removed what appeared to be a secondary device a few blocks away. 

"All hands are on deck; injuries are significant," Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening, though. 

"There is no evidence at this point of a terror connection," he said, though he added it was "an intentional act."

Law enforcement sources say police are in possession of a video that shows a man putting an object in a dumpster, followed by an explosion some time later.

President Obama was briefed on the explosion and receiving regular updates.

Crews responded to the scene at 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue around 8:30 p.m. Police Commissioner Jimmy O'Neill said the explosion took place out on the street, though de Blasio declined to answer whether the cause was a bomb in a dumpster, as some sources suggested. 

The NYPD also removed a possible secondary device on 27th St. Four sources said the device was a pressure cooker and that it had what appeared to be wires coming from it, a cell phone and black tape. 

After asking people to stay away from their windows in the area of that device, the NYPD tweeted that it had been safely removed just before 2:30 a.m.

Photos posted to social media showed an extensive emergency presence at the scene, with the area between Sixth and Seventh avenues cordoned off. Sixth Avenue was closed from 14th to 34th Street and NYC Transit reported extensive disruptions to the 1, 2, E and F subway lines. 

Street closures continued Sunday. Crosstown traffic was closed in both directions from West 14th Street to West 32nd Street between 5th and 8th Avenues. The closures are in effect until further notice, the mayor's office tweeted. 

At least one Twitter user tweeted that her "whole high-rise building shook" from a apparent blast. Another image showed a Dumpster or trash bin blown apart, with bits of debris scattered on the sidewalk. People at least seven blocks away reported hearing and feeling a loud boom.

Earlier Saturday, one of three bundled pipe bombs placed in a trash can along a 5k race route to be run by Marines detonated in Seaside Park, New Jersey. The race had been running late, but authorities said they believed the device had been timed to explode as runners went by the trash bin.

No one was hurt, and de Blasio said there was no evidence of a connection between the two blasts.

The NYPD and other city officials are expected to give updates about the investigation Sunday at a 12 p.m. press conference at One Police Plaza. 



Photo Credit: Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office
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Faith Leaders Frustrated with Youth Violence in New Haven

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Some people are calling for change after gunmen opened fire and hit three teens in two shootings this week in New Haven.

“We’ve got to do more,” says Reverend Boise Kimber, First Calvary Baptist Church.

Kimber is among those concerned about youth violence in New Haven following two shootings.

After officers heard gunfire on Friday, police say on Lilac Street they found a 14-year-old boy shot in his leg and a 15-year-old boy shot in his ankle.

Both are expected to recover.

On Thursday, there was gunfire on Stanley Street.

Police say they found 18-year-old Derrick Smith, shot in the abdomen and thigh.

Smith plays on the Hillhouse High School Football team.

In both cases, police are working to capture all the suspects.

On Friday community members met to discuss the violence involving youth.

“We need help from parents. The parents have got to get involved in this situation if they desire for their kids, young men, to continue to live,” says Kimber. 

As for the 14 and 15-year-olds who were shot Friday night, New Haven Public Schools confirmed they are students in the district.

But could not provide any other information including what school they go to.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

29 Hurt in ‘Intentional’ NYC Blast; No Terror Link, Mayor Says

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Some 29 people were injured in an explosion in Chelsea Saturday night, and authorities removed what appeared to be a secondary device a few blocks away. 

"All hands are on deck; injuries are significant," Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening, though. 

"There is no evidence at this point of a terror connection," he said, though he added it was "an intentional act."

Law enforcement sources say police are in possession of a video that shows a man putting an object in a dumpster, followed by an explosion some time later.

President Obama was briefed on the explosion and receiving regular updates.

Crews responded to the scene at 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue around 8:30 p.m. Police Commissioner Jimmy O'Neill said the explosion took place out on the street, though de Blasio declined to answer whether the cause was a bomb in a dumpster, as some sources suggested. 

The NYPD also removed a possible secondary device on 27th St. Four sources said the device was a pressure cooker and that it had what appeared to be wires coming from it, a cell phone and black tape. 

After asking people to stay away from their windows in the area of that device, the NYPD tweeted that it had been safely removed just before 2:30 a.m.

Photos posted to social media showed an extensive emergency presence at the scene, with the area between Sixth and Seventh avenues cordoned off. Sixth Avenue was closed from 14th to 34th Street and NYC Transit reported extensive disruptions to the 1, 2, E and F subway lines. 

At least one Twitter user tweeted that her "whole high-rise building shook" from a apparent blast. Another image showed a Dumpster or trash bin blown apart, with bits of debris scattered on the sidewalk. People at least seven blocks away reported hearing and feeling a loud boom.

Earlier Saturday, one of three bundled pipe bombs placed in a trash can along a 5k race route to be run by Marines detonated in Seaside Park, New Jersey. The race had been running late, but authorities said they believed the device had been timed to explode as runners went by the trash bin.

No one was hurt, and de Blasio said there was no evidence of a connection between the two blasts. 



Photo Credit: Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office
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East Windsor Police Seek Car that Fled Accident Scene

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East Windsor police are searching for a driver who fled the scene of a crash that left a motorcyclist seriously injured.

Police said the crash happened on Abbe Road around 8 p.m. Saturday. A male motorcyclist was seriously injured in the crash. He is currently in stable condition at the hospital.

He has not been publicly identified.

Police are looking for a tan sedan that may have been involved and reportedly fled the scene of the crash.

Abbe Road was closed from Scout Hall to Route 5 while the Metro Traffic Services team investigated. Anyone with information is asked to call East Windsor police at (860) 292-8240.



Photo Credit: East Windsor Police Department

Community Rides in Honor of Fallen Newington Police Officer

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To his family he was a husband and father, but to his community of Newington, Peter Lavery was their police officer. That was until he stepped in the line of fire while responding to a domestic disturbance.

Sunday, fellow officers, his family, and friends gathered at the Annual MPO Peter Lavery Memorial Run to remember a life lost 12 year ago, in December of 2004.

“Some days it feels like just yesterday . Some days you wake up and feel like you’re in that moment,” said Pam Lavery, Peter’s wife.

It’s a moment Pam Lavery wishes she didn’t have to relive. Each year since that fateful day when Lavery was killed, the community of Newington gathers together to honor his sacrifice.

“If you worked with Peter, if you knew Peter, you’re here,” said Jeanine Allen, a former police sergeant with the Newington Police Department.

Allen worked closely with Lavery. She volunteered to collect the $20 donation requested of riders as they pulled into Newington’s Churchill Park Sunday morning.

“I love Peter, I love his family. There’s just no other place I’d rather be at this time of year,” she added.

His sisters and brothers in blue joined hundreds of others for a motorcycle ride through Connecticut, raising money for a cause near to Lavery’s heart.

“He went to college late in life and always wanted to promote younger people to further their education,” explained the Laverys’ son Ray.

The family said over the last twelve years they’ve raised $130,000 for a scholarship fund helping students who want to study law enforcement or the criminal justice system.

“He would be overwhelmed with this,” said Pam.

“It makes us feel great as a family that we have so much support from the community, but also that the community still believes in law enforcement here,” Ray added.

Knowing that in his death, Peter Lavery is helping young people follow in his footsteps, to become police officers themselves, protecting their own communities, helps heal the hearts of those who knew this hometown hero.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Connecticut State Police Remind Residents to Remain Vigilant

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Connecticut State police are reminding residents to stay vigilant following Saturday’s explosion in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Twenty-nine people were injured in the blast in a mostly residential neighborhood on Manhattan's west side.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the explosion was caused by some kind of bomb, but did not appear to be linked to international terrorism.

Connecticut State police said troopers remain vigilant and ask residents to report anything suspicious by calling 911, texting TIP711 with the information to 274637, or by calling the Homeland Security tip line at 1-866-HLS-TIPS.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Reward Offered for Information on Stolen Paintings

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Connecticut state police are looking to identify any suspect(s) involved in a theft at Progressive Data Systems in North Windham.

Police said a $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.

On Monday Sept. 12 state police received a report of a burglary at Progressive Data Systems at 148 Club Road. Police believe the crime occurred over the weekend.

Computers, paintings by artist Christian Seidler, artwork by artist J. Kulgler and antique clocks were among the items reported missing. Police said the suspects used a crowbar to get in the back door.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact Eastern District Major Crime detectives at (860) 465-5400, call the anonymous tip line at (860) 465-5469, or text TIP711 with the information to 274637.



Photo Credit: Bill Correll

No Injuries Reported in Berlin Garage Fire

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No one was injured in a garage fire in Berlin early Sunday morning.

The Berlin Volunteer Fire Department responded at 1:58 a.m. to reports of a garage fire at 233 Main Street. When they arrived they found a detached garage fully involved in fire.

It took firefighters about half an hour to get the blaze under control and no injuries were reported.

The Fire Marshal is investigating the cause.



Photo Credit: Berlin Volunteer Fire Department

Obama: Low Black Voter Turnout Would Be 'Insult to My Legacy'

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President Barack Obama made a plea to his Democratic base Saturday, telling a predominately black audience of Capitol Hill lawmakers and guests that African-Americans must vote en masse in November's presidential election to help his legacy, NBC News reported.

"There's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter. It all matters," Obama told the crowd at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Phoenix Awards dinner.

"I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election," the president said.

While Obama touted advances in the economy, healthcare and criminal justice reform under his administration he noted that "none of it's been quick, none of it's been easy. None of it has come without a fight. And so much of our work remains unfinished."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Silver Alert Issued for 8-Year-Old Missing from Naugatuck

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A Silver Alert has been issued for 8-year-old Mariah Snyder, reported missing from Naugatuck.

Snyder was last seen Saturday around 1 p.m. leaving her home with relative Megan Mizell, 33, to visit another relative, Erika Mizell, 47, in Waterbury.

Snyder was never returned home and is believed to be with Megan and Erika Mizellor a Megan Mizell. They may be in a gray 2017 Dodge Caravan with Connecticut plate AF76355.

Police said the subjects may be in the Waterbury area or may be headed to Arizona.

Synder is described as 4-foot, 40 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Naugatuck police at (203) 729-5221.



Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police Department

Waterford Police Seek Suspects in Home Invasion

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Waterford police are searching for two suspects involved in a home invasion Sunday morning.

Police said around 5 a.m. Sunday they were called to a home in the 100-block of Oil Mill Road for a reported home invasion. The residents of the home contacted police and were not injured during the incident.

The residents reported that two male suspects entered the home and that one of them had a hand gun. Police do not believe the incident is random.

One suspect is described as approximately 160 pounds, wearing a blue sweatshirt, grey sweatpants, and had a white bandana over his face.

The other suspect is described as approximately 6-foot, wearing brown sweatshirt and brown sweatpants, and had a blue bandana over his face.

Anyone with information on this crime or who was in the area of Oil Mill Road around 5 a.m. is asked to contact Waterford police at (860) 442-9451 ex. 5 or through the confidential tip line at (860) 437-8080.

Officials Look Into Possible Similarities Between Explosives

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Authorities continued to hunt for clues Sunday in the growing investigation into the explosion in Manhattan Saturday night that injured 29 people.

Investigators are analyzing possible similarities between two devices seized in New York and one that detonated earlier Saturday in New Jersey, including the fact that all three devices apparently contained old-style mobile flip phones, according to officials familiar with the probe.

The explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, was reported at around 8:30 p.m. Twenty-nine people were hospitalized with injuries, but they had all been released by Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Less than three hours after the New York blast, an object police described as a "possible secondary device" was found just a few blocks away from the original explosion on 27th Street while officers were combing the area.



Photo Credit: Andres Kudacki, AP

2 Seriously Injured in Crash on Route 8 in Waterbury

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Two people were seriously injured in a crash on Route 8 in Waterbury Sunday morning.

State police said the accident happened on the northbound side of the highway around 3:09 a.m. near exit 35.

According to police, a Honda Accord was traveling in the left lane of traffic. A Subaru Impreza was driving behind the Honda in the right lane. Both vehicles had slowed down because of an accident in the area.

Police said a motorcycle behind the Honda in the left lane collided with both passenger vehicles. The operator of the motorcycle, identified as Thomas Hansen, 45, of Winsted and his passenger, Colleen Hansen, 32, of Winsted, were both thrown from the bike. They were both transported to Waterbury Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

The occupants of the other cars were not injured.

Police said it is not clear how the motorcycle collided with the passenger cars. The highway was closed for several hours while police investigated but has since reopened.

The crash remains under investigation. Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact Trooper LaRosa at (203) 267-2200.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Wanted Poster Shows Suspect in NY, NJ Bombings

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Authorities are looking for a 28-year-old naturalized Afghanistan citizen in connection with the bombing in Manhattan's Chelsea Saturday that injured 29 people, and multiple senior law enforcement officials tell NBC News they also suspect the man was involved in pipe bombs going off in Seaside Park and Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Ahmad Rahami, whose last known address is Elizabeth, is about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. Rahami has brown hair and eyes and facial hair; authorities say he should be considered armed and dangerous. An emergency alert was sent to all smartphones in the area urging anyone who sees him to call 911. 

"We do not yet know if this was a lone wolf or if it was something that involved other individuals," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an MSNBC interview.

Five people believed to be relatives or associates of Rahami were taken into custody Saturday during a traffic stop on the Verrazano Bridge. No one has been charged; the traffic stop came as authorities pursued a "promising lead" into surveillance video obtained from two sites in Manhattan where explosive devices were found -- one on 23rd Street and one on 27th Street. 

It wasn't immediately clear if authorities believed Rahami is the man seen on surveillance video at two locations where the explosive devices were recovered. 

One video shows a man putting an object in a dumpster near 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue, followed by an explosion some time later. Another video from 27th Street shows a man leave a piece of luggage on the sidewalk; that piece of luggage contained a bag with a pressure cooker inside. The cooker had a cellphone attached and wires protruding. It was taken to a Bronx firing range. 

No one was hurt in the two New Jersey cases. A robot trying to disarm one of five pipe bombs found in a trash can near an NJ Transit station in Elizabeth inadvertently detonated the device, causing an explosion. On Saturday, a pipe bomb went off in a trash can along a Marine race route. Officials said they thought the bomb had been timed to detonate as participants were running by, but the race started late.

Old-fashioned flip phones were found on the devices in Manhattan and in Seaside Park, law enforcement officials close to the investigation told NBC 4 New York. The investigation into the devices found in Elizabeth Monday was ongoing. 

The series of incidents put the entire tri-state area on edge. Early Monday morning Rutgers University urged people to avoid a New Brunswick parking garage while a suspicious package was investigated. Calls to police about suspicious packages skyrocketed amid heightened tensions. 

The Chelsea explosion left many rattled in a city that had marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks only a week earlier and that was schedule to hold a United Nations meeting Monday to address the refugee crisis in Syria. 

Witnesses described a deafening blast that shattered storefront windows and injured bystanders with shrapnel in the mostly residential neighborhood on the city's west side.

Former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who stepped down just last week, said Monday morning this was probably the first successful terrorist attack in the city since 9/11. 

Mayor de Blasio said there is “no specific and credible threat against New York City at this point in time from any terror organization,” but urged vigilance.

Police have ruled out a connection to the blast in Central Park in July that blew off a teen's foot. Right now police are trying to figure out the motive behind the attack. 

“We do not know the motivation. We do not know the nature of it. That's what we have to do more work on,” de Blasio said Sunday.

Cuomo had said Sunday that there was no evidence to suggest that the bombing was related to international terrorism, but he appeared to walk that back Monday. 

"Today's information suggests it may be foreign related, but we'll see where it goes," he said.

On Sunday, the governor deployed nearly 1,000 additional State Police and National Guard troops across the city to guard transit stations and area airports as a precaution. 

The White House said President Obama was briefed throughout the night and early Monday on the investigation into bombs found in New York City and New Jersey. Spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama will comment publicly later Monday.


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Teen With Down Syndrome Scores TD

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Two high school football teams in suburban Detroit came together Friday to give one young man his opportunity to shine. 

Robby Heil, of Novi, Michigan, has Down syndrome. He's a senior at Novi High School, and proudly sports a jersey with the No. 24 as the football team's longtime water boy. 

"Our team's seen him as part of the family," Novi coach Jeff Burnside told NBC affiliate WDIV.

So when they learned that Robby's mother Debbie was battling cancer, they hatched a plan to give their family a very special memory.

After a timeout during Friday's game against South Lyon High School, who was in on the plan, Robby took the field ready to play. The quarterback handed him the ball and he took off, running more than 20 yards to score a touchdown. 

Debbie had no idea it was coming, and grew emotional watching her son fulfill a lifelong dream. 

"It was incredible, I did not know about this," Debbie told WDIV through tears. "This team has just been so instrumental with helping me get him to practice like when I'm at chemo, and it really takes a village to raise my son and this village has really been outstanding."

"No matter how bad a day he's having, it's a smile from ear-to-ear," Coach Burnside said. "An opportunity to put that helmet on tonight, it brought tears to my eyes and I'm pretty sure tears all over the place."

While the touchdown didn't count for the game, even the opposing team joined in celebrating Heil's victory, presenting him with a South Lyon jersey bearing the No. 1. 



Photo Credit: WDIV
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Three Shark Bites in Three Hours at Florida Beach

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Three people suffered shark bites in less than three hours Sunday in the same area of New Smyrna Beach in Florida, authorities said.

A 43-year-old man from Longwood, Flordia, was bitten on the lower leg area or ankle while surfing about 10:40 a.m., 30 minutes after a 36-year-old Miami man was bitten on both hands, according to Senior Capt. Tamra Marris of the Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue agency. 

About two hours later, a 16-year-old boy from New Smyrna was bitten while surfing, suffering a minor laceration to his inner thigh. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images

Firefighter, Passing Motorists Rescue Driver from Car Fire

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An South Windsor volunteer firefighter is being credited with rescuing a driver from a burning car after an accident on Route 15 in North Haven Sunday. 

North Haven fire officials said they were called to Route 15 north near exit 63 around 6:30 a.m. Callers reported a car had crashed into a tree and caught fire with the occupants still inside.

When firefighters arrived they discovered both occupants outside the car and the vehicle fully engulfed in flames. Fire officials said a volunteer firefighter from South Windsor was driving in the area when he saw the accident and stopped to help. The driver, later identifed as Sandeep Ahuja, 27, of Manchester, was trapped inside the car, so the firefighter broke the window with a tire jack and pulled the driver to safety. The passenger,  Rakesh Singh, 31, of Hartford, was able to escape on his own.

North Haven firefighters treated the victims on scene. Ahuja suffered serious injuries and was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment. He is expected to recover. Rakesh reported minor injuries.

"We're extremely grateful to the volunteer firefighter who stopped to assist with this serious car crash," Chief Januszewski said in a press release. "His quick actions saved a person's life. I commend his actions and the work by North Haven firefighters this morning."

The South Windsor Fire Department identified the firefighter as Jared Pelletier.

Pelletier said via email that he was one of several motorists who stopped and assisted with the rescue.

"Going on my 6th year in the fire service, I did what was expected of me in this situation; but the others went above and beyond being just a Good Samaritan - the outcome may not have been the same had they not also stopped to help," he wrote in an email. "I wish the driver well and hope he recovers quickly, and extend my thanks to those others that assisted!" 

Connecticut State police are investigating the crash.



Photo Credit: North Haven Fire Department

13-Year-Old Driver Collides with New Britain Police Cruiser

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A New Britain police are investigating an accident involving a 13-year-old driver and a New Britain police officer.

Police said an officer in a marked cruiser was responding to a call when the accident occurred near the intersection of Farmington Avenue and Cabot Street. According to police the other car, an Acura SUV, was driven by a 13-year-old boy.

New Britain Police Chief James Wardwell said the officer was treated for and released from the hospital. The 13-year-old was evaluated at the hospital and released to his parents, Wardwell confirmed.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash. Both cars sustained heavy damage, police said.

Police said the SUV belonged to one of the teen's family members.

Farmington Avenue was closed between Hayes Street and Eddy Glover Boulevard while the Traffic Division investigated but has since reopened.

No charges have been filed at this time.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact Sgt. Steven King at (860) 826-3071.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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