WESTPORT, Conn. — The man killed in a crash early Saturday on I-95 in Westport was ejected from a van after it was rear-ended and rolled down an embankment, according to Connecticut State Police.
The man was identified as Muhamad Bahaga, 32, of the Bronx, N.Y. He was riding in the back seat of a 2003 Chevrolet Astro van and was not wearing a seatbelt, state police said.
The driver, Dembo Batchilly, 53, and the passenger, Ebou Fisiru, 36, both of the Bronx, were transported by Westport EMS to Norwalk Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, state police said.
Their van was rear-ended near Exit 18 of northbound I-95 at 5:15 a.m. by a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, driven by Jacques Buchanan, 30, of Yonkers, N.Y., state police said. He was not hurt in the crash.
The impact caused the van to veer to the right, hit the wire guardrail, go off the highway and travel down an embankment, where it struck multiple trees and rolled over, state police said. The Jetta hit the concrete barrier in the median, state police said.
The van's driver and front seat passenger were wearing seat belts, as required by state law. Bahaga was not wearing a seat belt, which is legal for backseat passengers over 16 in Connecticut.
“Had that person been wearing a seat belt, more than likely he would not have been deceased,” State Police Master Sgt. Kevin Stratton told the Connecticut Post.
A second crash occurred minutes later as a car rear-ended a semi-truck, which may have been slowing down to avoid the first crash, the Connecticut Post said.
Three adults in that car ran but were later arrested, state police told the Post, but offered no further details.
I-95 northbound was closed for hours on Saturday morning for the state police investigation. The lanes were reopened at about 12:15 p.m., the state Department of Transportation said. Traffic tie-ups were reported back into Norwalk, with cars exiting onto Route 7, Route 1, the Merritt Parkway and surface streets.
No charges have been filed in the fatal crash, which remains under investigation.
Click here for the Connecticut Post story.