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Tractor-Trailer Spills 150 Gallons of Fuel on Highway in Tolland


A tractor-trailer collided with four cars Saturday night on Interstate 84 westbound in Tolland, spilling 150 gallons of diesel fuel across the highway, according to town officials and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

State police said the tractor-trailer crashed just prior to exit 69 on I-84 west in Tolland. According to town officials, the truck was hauling auto parts and both saddle tanks ruptured during the crash.

Four other vehicles were involved and one minor injury was reported, Tolland officials said.

A DEEP Emergency Response Team is at the scene, along with the Tolland Fire Department. According to the DEEP, the truck company is bringing in an environmental crew to clean up the spill.

Tolland officials said weather was "absolutely" a factor in the crash. It's not clear if the leak has been contained.

The crash is one of dozens reported around the state as temperatures plummet and roads ice over.

Photo Credit: @TollandAlert

CTfastrak Rollout Not Without Glitches


The much-anticipated CTfastrak busway opened for business Saturday, but it didn't go off without a hitch.

"Well, we took it into Hartford, to go to the home show. Our bus died in downtown Hartford," explained Steve Sanders, of New Britain. "The second bus, it wouldn't start. We had to walk, like, five blocks to get to the Civic Center."

Department of Transportation Transit Administrator Michael Sanders said issues aren't entirely unexpected with a new fleet of buses. Other hiccups, such as electrical schedule board glitches that showed incorrect arrival times, should only need minor tweaks.

Given the weather, Sanders said he's pleased by the number and enthusiasm of opening day riders.

"It's a great system. It reminds me a lot of the things I've seen in Europe," said West Hartford resident Rachel Blatt. "Having the bike racks on the bus is amazing; that was definitely my favorite feature."

But although riders still turned out in Saturday's snowy conditions, the weather exposed some subtler flaws.

"Look at this design," Steve Sanders said, gesturing at a set of wet benches at the covered Elmwood bus station in West Hartford. "You know, you can't sit down."

Man in Halloween Mask Robs Greenwich Gas Station


Police are searching for the man who held up a Greenwich gas station while wearing a plastic Halloween mask early Saturday morning.

According to police, the suspect entered the SHeep Hill Mobil Gas Station at 1129 East Putnam Avenue/Route 1 around 1:30 a.m. on March 28 and demanded cash.

The clerk complied and handed over an undisclosed amount of money. He got away in an older-model gold SUV, according to police.

The robber is described as a light-complexioned man with an average build and average height. He was wearing a plastic Halloween mask, sunglasses, a dark hooded sweatshirt, brown jacket, dark-colored patns and white sneakers, police said.

Anyone with information is urged to call Greenwich police at 203-622-3333 or 800-372-1176. You can also submit a tip via email.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Officer Driving Police Cruiser While Intoxicated: Police


A Philadelphia Police officer was charged with driving under the influence after another officer watched him driving a marked police vehicle with flat tires and smelled alcohol on his breath early Saturday, said Lt. John Stanford.

The 12th District officer, identified as 26-year-old Darryl Cathey, pulled up to 6500 block of Woodland Avenue, just after midnight in southwest Philadelphia in a marked police cruiser with three flat tires and bent rims, said Stanford.

A sergeant from the district was at the location and saw the car's damage and smelled alcohol on the man's breath.

Cathey also indicated he did not know his tires were flat and he was driving the police cruiser on the rims, authorities said. He also had bloodshot eyes, police said.

This isn't the first time the 6-year department veteran has faced charges. In November 2011, Cathey was arrested for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend. He was fired that same year, but got his job back in 2013 through arbitration.

Cathey struggled with the sergeant and other officers early Saturday morning while being taken into custody. He was charged with DUI and is being investigated by accident division and internal affairs, according to Stanford. He is expected to be charged with aggravated and simple assault and reckless endangerment in addition to the DUI charge.

"The department takes these type of incidents seriously and behavior that doesn't conform with department policy will not be tolerated," said Lt. Stanford. "The appropriate action will be taken against this officer as soon as all charges are filed."

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will suspend Cathey for 30 days with intent to dismiss. 

Bail has been set at $5,000. Cathey is scheduled to appear in court April 13.

10 in Hospital, SoCal Train Crash


A University of Southern California film student was hospitalized in "grave" condition after crashing his car with a Metro train near the school’s campus Saturday, officials said. Nine others were also taken to the hospital, including the train operator.

The crash was reported just before 11 a.m. near the intersection of Exposition Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, officials with the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Investigators say the 31-year-old driver, who has not been identified, may have made an "improper turn" to his left, crossed the tracks and collided  with the commuter train, said Sgt. Michael Verlich of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The car became wedged between a pole and the train, causing the train to come off the tracks and trapping the driver inside the mangled vehicle.

"It was just like a big, loud crash of metal," said USC freshman Johnny Stevens, who saw the aftermath from his dorm room. "It was huge so we knew it wasn't just a car crash. We figured something big happened, so we looked out our window and we saw half of a car smashed into the rail."

In all, 21 people received medical attention, LAFD Assistant Chief Don Frazeur said. 

The driver, also a military veteran, was taken to the hospital in "grave" condition with serious injuries after being rescued from the mangled Hyundai Sonata.

The train operator, identified as Kenneth Goss, was recovering at home with his family after being treated at the hospital for injuries that were described as "serious." He has worked for Metro for 29 years, said Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo.

Eight others were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Several others were treated at the scene.

LAFD officials initially said two cars had been involved in the crash with the train, but later changed that number to one.

The crash interrupted additional Metro train service for a crowd of 80,000 at the Mexico versus Ecuador soccer match at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Metro officials warned commuters to expect major delays on the Expo Line. Bus shuttles were requested between Jefferson Boulevard and Vermont Avenue. The line was expected to reopen by midnight, said Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo.

Photo Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Lockdown Lifted at Naval Submarine Base


The lockdown at the U.S. Naval submarine base in Groton has been lifted after reports of a suspicious vehicle near the main gate of the base shut it down on Saturday afternoon.

Naval Submarine Base New London posted on its Facebook page that the submarine base went into lockdown after the public safety and security personnel at the base responded to the report at 11:55 a.m. Authorities investigated and determined there was no threat.

"The base appreciates the patience and understanding of all Navy members and patrons as this issue was being resolved," officials of the base said in a statement on Facebook.

Security was increased at the base as a result of the report per protocol and the base was placed in lockdown during the investigation. The base has since reopened.

Local police were notified.

Access to the base was restricted during the lockdown, but Gate 1 remained open to outbound traffic only.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 9 Newington Exit Reopens After Crash


A Route 9 exit closed earlier on the southbound side in Newington has reopened after a crash Sunday morning.

Exit 29 was closed until the car was towed.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Train Derailment Wreckage Cleared


The wreckage from the crash in Southern California between a metro train and a car, which left one person in grave condition Saturday, has been cleared.

The collision occurred when the train hit a car that turned in front of it in Exposition Park.

In addition to the person who was reportedly near death, 20 other people were also injured.

The train operator was hospitalized in serious condition, said Shawn Lenske of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

He was later released and was recuperating at home, according to Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo. He identified the operator as Kenneth Goss, a 29-year Metro veteran who is in his mid-50s.

Nineteen other people, all train passengers, suffered minor injuries in the 10:50 a.m. crash and eight of them were taken to hospitals, Lenske said.

The train hit the Hyundai at a traffic signal between USC and the Museum of Natural History.

Ubaldo told City News Service the car and the train both were heading east, when the car made a left turn toward the USC gate and was hit by the electric light rail vehicle.

Witnesses said after the Hyundai made an improper turn, it became wedged between a pole and the train, which derailed, according to the Sgt. Mike Verlich of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Left turns such as that are regulated by a left turn arrow, and there are flashing alarms for approaching trains, which get stop signals if cars are turning across the grade crossing.

After the wreck, a picture shot from a USC office building across the street, and posted on the Internet, showed a crushed car on the westbound tracks at the Watt Drive signal, and a stopped train on the tracks usually used by trains heading from Culver City to downtown Los Angeles.

The crash was next to the Exposition Park Rose Garden, about halfway between the tunnel under Figueroa Street, and Vermont Street.

Expo Line service in both directions was cut, and firefighters were warned a half hour after the crash that the train line's overhead power supply could not be immediately cut off. The train's electric arms had been retracted but firefighters were warned that low voltage batteries might still be a hazard, firefighters were told.

Buses were being used as a ``bridge'' to ferry passengers around the wreck.

Regular service on the Expo line wasn't expected to be restored until about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, Ubaldo said.

Crews will have to de-energize both tracks to replaced a damaged traffic signal pole and officials wanted to wait until spectators, many of whom relied on mass transit, left a sold out Mexico-Ecuador soccer game that was played tonight at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Ubaldo said.

The game ended about 8:30 p.m.

Crews would be working through the night to complete repairs and reopen
the line, Ubaldo said.

Coney Island Coaster Gets Stuck


The legendary Coney Island Cyclone gave passengers a scare Sunday when it got stuck on its first public run of the season, forcing a number of riders to climb down the wooden structure on foot.

All the passengers - attending what were to have been leisurely festivities to mark the reopening of Luna Park for the season - appeared to have escaped the roller coaster unharmed. But some said the slow climb from high up on the open structure left them feeling shaken.

"It was terrifying, because I was up there and everything was spinning," Gabriella Centeno said after she reached solid ground. "I didn't know what to do."

Anna Dartany said the park staffers' assistance made climbing down possible.

"I'm scared of heights," she said, "but with their help I made it down. ... This was insane."

Angie Morris, brand manager at Luna Park, said the historic roller coaster had undergone tests over the past month ahead of Sunday's season opening. Such a problem hadn't occurred for a very long time, she said, although she declined to specify how long.

She said the Cyclone would be back up and running within a matter of hours.

Despite the less-than-summery temperatures, longtime fans had flocked to the roller coaster Sunday morning to celebrate the amusement park's reopening and to take advantage of free tickets being offered to the first 100 people who showed up to ride the wooden icon.

Boston Police Officer in Surgery


A Boston police officer honored for his role in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings is in stable and improving condition after undergoing successful surgery.

Officer John T. Moynihan, 34, was critically injured Friday night during a shootout in the city's Roxbury neighborhood. He had been in a medically induced coma at Boston Medical Center since the shooting.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans met with doctors Sunday, who told him the bullet was removed from his neck after several hours of surgery.

Moynihan is expected to get out of intensive care in the days ahead.

"I'm thankful to the doctors and medical team at Boston Medical Center for taking such good care of my officer," said Evans in a statement. "I was happy to hear that he made it through surgery without any complications, it shows you what a strong kid he is and what a great medical team they have here."

A healing service was held for Moynihan Sunday morning at St. Patrick's Church in Roxbury to coincide with the scheduled surgery. Many law enforcement officers were present to support their brother in blue.

The shootout took place after police say they tried to make a traffic stop on Humboldt Avenue around 6:40 p.m. Friday. According to authorities, the suspect, later identified as 41-year-old Angelo West, exited his vehicle and opened fire at police.

Moynihan was shot below his right eye. Police returned fire and West, who had a history with violence towards law enforcement, was killed in the shooting. A middle-aged woman was also caught in the crossfire as she drove by, suffering a flesh wound to her right arm. Evans said Friday that she was fine and in good spirits.

A decorated Iraq war veteran, Moynihan has been with the Boston Police Department since 2008, currently serving on the department's Youth Violence Strike Force. MBTA Officer Dic Donohue, who was injured in the manhunt after the Boston Marathon bombings, confirmed to necn that Moynihan helped rescue him in 2013. The following year, Moynihan received the Nation's Top Cops Award from President Barack Obama, followed by the Boston Police Medal of Honor.

Saturday, Donohue expressed his gratitude to Moynihan and sent his best wishes.

"John played a part in saving my life, and that's something I will never forget," he said in a statement to necn. "His record of service speaks for itself. Everyone is wishing him well and we know he has the strength to pull through."

Police said Friday that two suspects besides West were in custody "on unrelated matters." No further information has been available about them.

Photo Credit: Boston Police
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Firefighters Extinguish Fairfield Chimney Fire


Fairfield firefighters braved snow, ice and the cold on Saturday night to put out a chimney fire at a Toilsome Hill Road home in Fairfield.

The chimney at 199 Toilsome Hill Road was up in flames when the first responding Fairfield firefighter got to the scene, according to the Fairfield Fire Department. Smoke was also rising from the chimney. The call came in at 9:33 p.m. on Saturday.

The cold temperature, slippery conditions and "wind-driven snow" proved a challenge to the firefighters, who extinguished the blaze with an aerial device on one of the ladder trucks, fire officials said.

Crews put "salvage covers around the hearth to protect the wood floors and interior furnishings," according to fire officials.

“Careful coordination of interior and exterior firefighting operations resulted in the safe extinguishment of the fire in the chimney and prevented any damage to the interior of the home," Fairfield Assistant Fire Chief George Gomola said.

Firefighters determined with thermal imaging cameras that the flames had not spread beyond the chimney, fire officials said.

Crews put out the fire by 9:47 p.m. and the scene cleared by 10:33 p.m.

No one was injured.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department

2 Dead in Philly Suburb Plane Crash


Two men were killed when a small plane plummeted to the ground near a suburban Philadelphia airport Sunday afternoon, police said.

The plane -- a Piper PA28-- crashed into a wooded area near Saunders Lane and Andrews Drive in West Goshen, Chester County killing both people on board around 1:45 p.m., officials confirmed.

"Shortly after taking off the plane started to sputter and then basically took a nosedive and came down in the woods," said Bob Fleming, of Goshen Fire Company.

It had taken off minutes earlier from the Brandywine Airport, which is roughly two miles from the crash site, police said. Officials said the last deadly accident out of Brandywine Airport was 10 years ago.

Witnesses on the ground suggested the plane may have lost power and then stalled before crashing and bursting into flames. 

"We couldn't see anything, just heard a big band," said Frank Kraus, a neighbor.

Kraus added he was thankful the tragedy was not any worse, considering the proximity of several homes and a large senior living housing complex to the crash site.

"Thank God for the pilot," he said. "But then the pilot and his passenger didn't make it which is sad. Sad to hear that people didn't make it."

The identities of the victims have not been released and it's unknown at this time what caused the plane to crash. Authorities confirmed at least one of the victims is a West Goshen Township resident.

Local authorities and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating. Officials with the National Transportation and Safety Board are expected to arrive Monday to aid in the investigation.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10

Fire in Litchfield


Firefighters responded to a fire at 99 Fern Avenue in Litchfield Sunday afternoon.

The call came in close to 3 p.m.

No further information was immediately available.

Police Officer Injured When Car Hits Cruiser


A Hartford police officer was hospitalized with minor injuries after a driver lost control on an icy road just after midnight on Sunday and crashed into a cruiser.

Hartford Officer Steve McCullough, 36, was investigating a motor vehicle accident at 960 Main St. in the capital city involving someone who evaded responsibility when the crash happened at about 12:04 a.m. Nasean Banks, 22, of Windsor, was traveling in the southbound direction on the road when he slid on some ice and hit McCullough's police cruiser. The collision pushed the police car into a car parked along the curb on the east side of the road.

McCullough was treated at St. Francis Hospital for minor, non-evident injuries and was released. He went home afterward per doctor's orders.

The damage to the police car left it inoperable, so it has been placed out of service.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Firefighter Injured, House Destroyed in One of Two Waterbury Fires



A firefighter was injured fighting one of two fires that broke out in Waterbury late Sunday afternoon.


A heavy fire broke out at the home at 361 Sylvan Avenue around 3:30p.m. and spread to the detached garage and attic, according to Waterbury Deputy Chief Rich Paltauf. There was heavy fire at the back of the building.

The residents made it out safety, but a firefighter injured his knee trying to access a fenced-in fire hydrant. His injury wasn't serious.

The house is inhabitable due to the damage from the fire and expected to be a total loss.

The second fire was at a two-family home at 35 Baldwin Avenue. According to Battalion Chief Brett McAllister, that fire started on the first floor and spread to the attic. No humans were injured, but two cats perished in the blaze.

McAllister says that the first and third floors have extensive damage but the home is not a total loss. Only one family was currently living in the building.

The causes of both fires are currently under investigation.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Coyote Attacks Dog in Ansonia


A coyote attacked a 5-year-old male pitbull on Park Place in Ansonia, according to the Ansonia Animal Shelter.

The dog named Lexus survived and is expected to recover from injuries on one of his back legs. He belongs to the Lojewska family that lives at 56 Park Place.

The pitbull will be quarantined for 45 days, which is standard protocol when a wild animal attacks a pet due to the potential for rabies. The dog was up to date on his rabies shots, otherwised he would have been kept in confinement for 180 days.

The Ansonia Animal Shelter is reminding pet owners to stay on top of rabies shots for your animals as a precaution.

"Please spread this to everyone so they are watching their pets and keeping them inside!" the Ansonia Animal Shelter posted on Facebook. "Most importantly keep your animals up to date on their rabies vaccine."

More information was not immediately available.


Racist Graffiti Found Scrawled in Connecticut College Bathrooms


Connecticut College officials are looking for the person(s) responsible for racist graffiti found in the bathrooms on the first floor of the Crozier-Williams building in New London.

The college was alerted at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday. Campus safety officials are investigating and the graffiti was removed, according to an email Dean of Student Life Victor Arcelus and Director of Campus Safety Stewart Smith sent to students and the college community. Photos shared with NBC Connecticut show writing on a bathroom wall that says "No" followed by the "N" word plural.

"Given the egregious nature of the graffiti, we are enlisting the campus community to help us to identify those responsible,"  the letter from Arcelus and Smith said.

Officials said that staff members for the Offices of Student Life and the Dean of the College will be available to provide support to students who have concerns.

Deborah MacDonnell, the director of public relations at Connecticut College, says the graffiti is "antithetical to the values of the College." 

She goes on to say that the graffiti was removed and the incident is being investigated.

Photo Credit: Matt Austin/ NBC Connecticut

Neighbor Helps Rescue Girl, 7, From Fire


A neighbor helped rescue a young girl from a fire that ripped through an East Hartford home early Sunday morning, the fire department said.

Flames and heavy smoke were seen at the home at 86 Pendleton Drive when authorities arrived around 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

An elderly women, her adult son, her nephew and a young girl lived in the home, the fire department said. The fire started while the family was sleeping.

“It was me and her father, got the key to the front door," said neighbor Jay Arcand. "There was so much smoke we just kind of leaned in and reached around and luckily she was near the front door, and we just pulled her out.”

The girl was barely conscious and was taken to Shriners Hospital in Boston in serious condition, having suffered burns to her hands and face.

The family's two dogs were also caught in the fire. One was able to be resuscitated, while the other died in the blaze.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the fire marshal.

Missing Student's Sorority Search


A University of Minnesota student and member of a sorority has gone missing, and Minneapolis police have now asked for the public's help in finding her.

Jennifer Houle, 22, was last seen around 1 a.m. Friday at the Blarney Bar in Dinkytown, a neighborhood in Minneapolis, police told NBC News. Houle’s purse was found two hours later about three blocks away from the bar.

Houle is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority at the university. Her sorority sisters posted a message on Facebook asking for the public to join the search. "We need all the help we can get to find this warm-hearted, beautiful person." The message has been shared more than 8,000 times.


Our sister, Jen Houle is still missing. She was last seen in this outfit at 1am Friday March 27th in Dinkytown. We need...

Posted by Pi Beta Phi UMN on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friends and family plan to host a prayer vigil Sunday night at Stillwater Area High School. Houle graduated from Stillwater in 2011, according to Minnesota Public Radio News.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Snow Showers Expected Ahead of Warm Streak


Even though Connecticut is in for a run of warm weather this week, snow is still in the forecast for the Monday morning commute.

With temperatures near freezing Monday morning, light snow showers are possible as early as 7 a.m. The Northwest and Litchfield hills could see a coating of snow and the rest of the state will likely see no more than a dusting, according to NBC Connecticut First Alert Meteorologist Monica Cryan.

Throughout the rest of the morning and afternoon, temperatures will build up to the mid-40s. The warm streak will last for most of the week, staying in the 40s and 50s, possibly reaching the 60s at one point.

We're keeping an eye on a possible snowstorm Easter weekend that could start as rain and transition to snow, but that is subject to change.

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