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Thursday, January 24 Local

Highway traffic back to normal 13 hours after fatal Milford crash

MILFORD — A crash that left a Connecticut man dead caused traffic delays on Interstate 95 south for more than 13 hours on Friday.

The driver of a tractor-trailer was killed Friday morning after his truck, carrying bottled water, went down an embankment off I-95 south in Milford. The Associated Press said Connecticut State Police identified the driver as 57-year-old Jean Fabre-Benoit, of Prospect.

The crash happened around 6:35 a.m. between the rest stop and Exit 40. By 8 p.m., the site of the crash had been cleared.

When firefighters got there, they reported a tractor trailer off the road and into the wooded area, according to a news release from Fire Capt. Stephen Rabel.

“The driver of the vehicle was pinned in the vehicle and had to be extricated,” he said. “The extrication was complicated by having to remove trees and brush as well as having to deal with spilled diesel fuel and a nearby stream.”

Paramedics gave the driver advanced life support during the extrication, but he ultimately died as a result of his injuries, Rabel said.

Traffic caused by lane closures as a result of the crash was disastrous to the morning and evening rush hour commutes, pushing driver onto local roads to avoid the highway gridlock. Local roads, mainly Route 1, quickly got congested.

Just before 12:30 p.m., travel time between Interstate 91 in New Haven and the Milford connector was estimated to take 102 minutes. Typical travel on that 11-mile stretch of road is 12 minutes.

More than eight hours after the accident, the center and right lanes remained closed with nearly seven miles of delays of crawling traffic.

Around 3 p.m., state police briefly shut down all lanes of the highway headed south in the area of the crash. Within an hour only the right shoulder was closed.

Despite the reopening of lanes, delays of up to two hours remained in the area until around 5 p.m., when delays were estimated to be up to an hour.

Around 8 p.m. all lanes were open and traffic was flowing through the area at typical speeds.

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