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One killed after car speeds into Connecticut River in Hatfield

  • A state trooper, left, and a Hatfield firefighter work in the Connecticut River in Hatfield, Wednesday, where a car was driven into the water. Authorities said the driver was killed. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS PHOTOS

  • A State Policeman, left, and a Hatfield firefighter work in the Connecticut River in Hatfield, Wednesday, where a car was driven into river. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • A Hatfield firefighter walks past a tow truck on his way to the Connecticut River dike in Hatfield, Wednesday, where a car was driven into the river. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • A Hatfield firefighter crosses the Connecticut River dike in Hatfield, Wednesday, where a car was driven into the river. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Hatfield firefighters work in an area between the Connecticut River and the river dike where a car was driven into the river, Wednesday. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The crash site, at the end of Bridge Lane in Hatfield. Maps4News



@amandadrane 
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

HATFIELD — One person was killed Wednesday evening after a car sped down Bridge Lane, launched off the rise and landed upside down in the Connecticut River.

Northwestern district attorney’s office spokeswoman Mary Carey said there was a fatality, but could release no further details.

Dust and two helicopters filled the evening air along the straight dirt road as a crowd of about a dozen local residents milled around waiting for a resolution.

This isn't the first time this has happened, people said at the scene. 

Bridge Lane resident Deana Helin said she called 911 at around 6:45 p.m. after witnessing the incident. She stared at the rear wheel well of the vehicle — still submerged 45 minutes later — as she recounted what had happened. 

“The car was going so, so fast by my house I went to yell at them,” she said, estimating it was traveling around 70 mph. “By the time I got out … it was already in the air.” 

Helin said the car’s collision with the water was reminiscent of the time, 26 years ago, she saw a young man die in similar fashion. 

“A lot of people come speeding down here, but this was crazy,” Helin said. 

More than a dozen first responders arrived quickly on scene, but were unable to do much without a dive team. About an hour after the crash, the sun had set and a flashlight lit the way as the first diver hit the water. 

As the officers did the slow, hard work of dragging the car up the dike, Hatfield residents waited, their faces twisted with concern, for news about which of their neighbors remained in the upturned vehicle. 

“It’s a local, too, because no one else would know about this spot,” said a man in the crowd. 

As the car approached the river’s shore, officials readied the Jaws of Life and cleared all onlookers from the scene. 

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@gazettenet.com.