Wrong-way driver killed in crash with 18-wheeler on I-691

SOUTHINGTON — A Waterbury woman was killed when the Mercedes sedan she was driving west on the eastbound side of Interstate 691 crashed head-on with an 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck on Wednesday.

Sharon L. Knight, 54, of 1568 Meriden Road, Apt. 1E, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash just yards from the Meriden line and Exit 4 to Route 322, state police said in a statement issued early Thursday.

Reported at about 5:15 p.m., the crash closed the east side of the highway at the exit for five hours, backing up eastbound traffic for miles and causing traffic jams on Southington and Meriden roads. The highway was reopened at about 10:20 p.m., a state police dispatcher said.

The driver of the truck, Luis C. Herrejon of Portland, Oregon, was taken by ambulance to Midstate Medical Center of Meriden, state police said.

Initial, unconfirmed police and fire radio reports indicated that a wrong-way driver was involved. State police did not say for how long Knight was driving the wrong way or where she first got on the highway.

At the time of the crash, the weather was clear under daylight skies, the roadway was dry and traffic was moderate and moving at a steady flow, state police said.

A state police accident reconstruction team from Troop I-Bethany worked the accident scene for several hours.

Anyone with information about the crash, or any motorist with a dashboard camera who have been driving through the area of the collision when or just before it happened, is asked to contact Trooper Taylor Norton of Troop I at 203-393-4200 or via email at taylor.norton@ct.gov.

nsambides@record-journal.com203-317-2279Twitter: @JrSambides

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