Man drains pool into road, creating ice, 3 crashes

Police in Norwalk arrested a local man Thursday after he allegedly drained a swimming pool onto a curvy, downhill stretch of road in frigid morning temperatures, creating a vast icy sheen on the roadway that sent several cars spinning and sent one woman to the hospital.

Norwalk police Lt. Paul Resnick said that officers were called to the area of  Flax Hill Road near the intersection of Keeler Avenue around 9:15 a.m. Thursday for a report of a one-car accident and slippery conditions. The city also sent a salt truck to the area.

The icy covering the road was so widespread that even the police had trouble getting close to the scene, which was on a downhill section of the road that has a S-curve in it.

Police found a 69-year-old woman driving her Subaru downhill had spun out across the road and struck a guard rail on the other side.

A short time later, a 2005 Jeep Liberty also being driven downhill by a Norwalk woman, spun out when braking for slower cars ahead and was then struck by a trailing 2008 Subaru Forester, causing the Jeep Liberty to spin yet again. The man driving the Forester said he had tried to brake but couldn’t stop in time.

Then a 2012 Nissan Rogue being driven downhill struck the Liberty and collided with the city salt truck, which was coming up the hill. The 54-year-old Norwalk woman driving the Nissan was taken to the hospital with injuries. She was treated and released later Thursday.

Investigators found that the huge ice sheen had been caused by an employee of Darien-based Swimm Pool and Patio (sic), who was doing winter service on pool on Westview Lane.

The employee, identified as 34-year-old Alfredo Bahena-Benitez, allegedly drained the pool with a hose, which he ran out to Flax Hill Avenue, just uphill from the crashes.

Officers believe the water traveled down Flax Hill road, covering the road in ice and pooling at a low point in the road at the intersection with Primrose Court.

Officers said that the Bahena-Benitez’s actions were responsible for the three accidents and they had the pool company send him back to the scene. He was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree reckless endangerment and his bond was set at $1,000.

Bahena-Benitez, who resides on East Avenue in Norwalk, is due in Superior Court on Jan. 21.


Wes Duplantier