Government Police/Fire

Three People Injured after Vehicle Fleeing Police Crashes and Catches Fire in West Hartford Tuesday Morning [Updated]

A vehicle that was on fire came to rest next to a residence on New Park Avenue Tuesday morning. Photo courtesy of WTNH

[UPDATED] West Hartford Police were assisting Hartford Police following a shots fired incident involving the vehicle that crashed and caught fire Tuesday morning.

The driver of an Infiniti fleeing police crashed into a parked car before hitting a home and bursting into flames Tuesday at the intersection of New Park Avenue and Darcy Street in West Hartford. Courtesy of West Hartford Police

By Ronni Newton

An incident that began with a vehicle being pursued by Hartford Police in connection with shots fired ended on New Park Avenue at Darcy Street in West Hartford, near the intersection of New Park and Flatbush avenues, sent three suspects to the hospital, resulted in the evacuation of a multi-family residence, and snarled traffic as the West Hartford Fire Department responded to the scene along with West Hartford Police who are continuing to investigate.

Capt. Eric Rocheleau of the West Hartford Police Department said Hartford Police notified other law enforcement agencies on Sunday to be on the lookout for a dark-colored Infiniti with Massachusetts plates that was involved in a “shots fired” incident.

A vehicle matching the description was spotted in West Hartford on Monday where individuals were attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a car parked on Farmington Avenue, Rocheleau said. An officer on patrol interrupted the theft, but the suspects fled in the vehicle.

The same Infiniti with Massachusetts plates was spotted by Hartford Police around 6 a.m. Monday, Rocheleau said.

Hartford Police were pursuing the vehicle on New Britain Avenue, into West Hartford, and when the vehicle turned north onto New Park Avenue, West Hartford Police were able to assist with the pursuit and set up tire deflation devices.

According to Rocheleau, the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control on New Park Avenue, in the area of Jefferson Avenue, near New Park Brewing.

“The vehicle left the roadway, struck some large rocks in a parking lot, and went airborne,” Rocheleau said in a press release.

The vehicle then took down telephone wires and collided with a utility pole and a vehicle parked on Darcy Street before crashing into a multifamily residence at 475 New Park Avenue (corner of Darcy Street) and bursting into flames.

The driver of an Infiniti fleeing police crashed into a parked car before hitting a home and bursting into flames Tuesday at the intersection of New Park Avenue and Darcy Street in West Hartford. Courtesy of West Hartford Police

West Hartford Fire Department Battalion Chief John Sokolowski said the town’s emergency dispatch received a call about a structure fire, but when crews arrived at the scene they realized it was actually the vehicle on fire that had crashed into the residence at 475 New Park Ave.

Sokolowski confirmed that three individuals who were inside the vehicle when it caught fire were transported via ambulance to an area hospital. He did not know the extent of the injuries but told reporters that “all were alive when they left the scene.”

The injured parties were removed from the heavily damaged vehicle via the doors by West Hartford Police officers who, along with Hartford Police, were the first to arrive at the scene. “Police officers who arrived on scene actually got the people out of the vehicles,” Sokolowski said.

Rocheleau said that Hartford and West Hartford officers rendered aid to the three adult occupants of the Infiniti.

According to the West Hartford Fire Department, a tire that flew off one of the vehicles during the crash hit the roof of the multi-family residence, causing damage.

While the residence was evacuated, there were no injuries to any of the occupants. Sokolowski said the Town of West Hartford’s building inspector has deemed the building to be structurally sound and habitable, however there are broken windows and other damage. West Hartford Social Services is working with the residents to ensure their needs are being met.

Eversource has shut down power to the area, and CNG shut down the gas service for safety.

New Park Avenue was closed between the entrance to Home Depot and Flatbush Avenue while the West Hartford Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction Team is investigating the motor vehicle crash incident.

The Hartford Courant reported Tuesday that according to Hartford Police, the Infiniti had been “stolen from a Hartford resident Sunday morning after one of the thieves shot its owner.” The owner of the vehicle had been shot in the thigh by one of the thieves, and is recovering, the Courant reported.

Hartford Police Lt. Aaron Boisvert confirmed to We-Ha.com that the three occupants of the Infiniti are ages 19, 20, and 23. Their names will be released once they are charged, but he did have a timeframe for when that will happen.

The Hartford Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit is continuing its investigation.

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