Elio Gugliotti, Editor
BEACON FALLS — A 24-year-old Derby man died Monday at Waterbury Hospital after he was ejected from a car that crashed down an embankment off Route 8 northbound.
The crash happened shortly before 1 p.m.
State police said the man, identified as Jonathan Vazquez of Derby, was driving a 2017 Honda Accord when he lost control of the car about a mile north of exit 23. The car veered onto the grass shoulder, hit and went over the guardrail and then down an embankment — just before a bridge that goes over the Naugatuck River.
The car then continued across Cold Spring Road, over another guardrail and down another embankment, before flipping onto its roof near the Metro-North Railroad tracks that run along the Naugatuck River.
Beacon Hose Company No. 1 Fire Chief Brian DeGeorge said Vazquez was lying about 25 feet from the wrecked car, near the riverbank, when first responders arrived on the scene. Emergency personnel drove an ambulance down to the site of the wreck to get to Vazquez after Metro-North stopped a train, he said.
Vazquez was taken to Waterbury Hospital, where he died from his injuries, state police said.
DeGeorge said Vazquez was the only person in the car. There was a lot of debris, including children’s clothing and toys, near the wreck. Firefighters used thermal imaging to check the riverbanks for other victims, he said. Someone fishing in the river witnessed the crash, he said, and told first responders that nothing landed in the river.
State police are investigating the crash. It’s unknown what caused Vazquez to lose control of the car. Police ask anyone with information on the crash to call Trooper Stephen Corona at 203-393-4200.
Police closed Route 8 northbound and diverted traffic off exit 23 as they investigated Monday. Cold Spring Road between Railroad Avenue and Lopus Road Extension was closed, as well, for much of the afternoon.
Metro-North Railroad stopped all trains until the scene was cleared at about 6 p.m.