Seventy people were injured in Friday evening’s Metro-North accident in Bridgeport.
Three patients remained in critical condition Saturday, with two of those stable, according to officials at two Bridgeport hospitals.
The nursing supervisor at St. Vincent Medical Center said Saturday that 44 people from the crash had been treated there, and that five of those were admitted.
One of the five remained in critical but stable condition, the supervisor said.
Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello said two patients were admitted in critical condition, and one of those was now stable.
The hospital treated 24 other patients from the crash, and many had been released already, with the rest expected to be released by late Saturday morning, Cappiello said.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Saturday now is the time to start making alternative transportation plans for those who depend on Metro-North trains.
When asked when he thought train service would return to normal, Malloy said, “We really cannot give you good information on that. We will set up a system to move people from Bridgeport to the next possible station that can handle that traffic. Folks east of Bridgeport, you should begin making plans for alternate travel.”
Metro North officials said any repairs will have to wait until after a full investigation into the crash has been completed.
The Metro North collision between two commuter trains has tied up traffic in Bridgeport’s West End, as Fairfield Avenue between Railroad Avenue westbound and Pine Street is closed to both traffic and pedestrians.
Westbound traffic has been detoured onto Commerce Drive, also known as State Street Extension. Eastbound vehicles are being diverted onto Railroad Avenue.
There will be a household hazardous waste collection for residents of Trumbull, Easton and Monroe on Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Indian Ledge Park in Trumbull.
A Connecticut driver’s license is required. Items to bring include oil-based paints, varnishes, pesticides, insecticides and pool chemicals.
Please do not bring latex paint (can be dried with kitty litter and thrown in the garbage), alkaline batteries, motor oil, antifreeze and asbestos products.
For a complete list refer to the Trumbull website at www.trumbull-ct.gov. The next collection will be in the fall of 2013.
Press release from the City of Bridgeport:
BRIDGEPORT – The City has put illegal dumpers on notice: If you choose to dump your debris in our neighborhoods, it might hit you where it hurts.
The city recently contracted with a private investigation firm to stake out illegal dumping hotspots. Within an hour this weekend, the effort paid off. The suspects fled. The City seized the car.
“We don’t want to seize people’s vehicles but we have an obligation to our residents. If you use our neighborhoods as a dumping ground, you may pay a steep price,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “We work very hard every day to make Bridgeport the cleanest and greenest city it can be and sometimes, like in the case of illegal dumpers, we have to take strong action.”
The City has contracted with Infidelity Investigations of Bridgeport to conduct the stake outs. The private investigators will go out several times a week and stake out some of the dozen or so known illegal dumping problem areas. When they spot someone in the act, they have a direct line to police who respond immediately.
Catching illegal dumpers might not be the company’s primary source of business but the investigators have experience in stake outs.
On the first night of the operations, a private investigator was stationed at Wood Avenue and Grove Street, a known trouble stop. Within an hour, a 1993 Toyota Camry pulled up and started dumping garbage bags, household goods, furniture and other items on the sidewalk next to 224 Grove St.
The private investigator called police and as he approached the suspects they ran off in opposite directions leaving the car behind.
Fighting illegal dumping has been an ongoing challenge for the City. According to Christopher Rosario, the director of Anti-Blight & Illegal Dumping in the City’s Office of Neighborhood Revitalization, the offenders can vary. Some are people who choose not to drive to the City’s Transfer Station to throw out garbage as they clean out a rental apartment or finish spring cleaning. Others might be contractors who dump construction debris to save on the tipping fee.
“We spend tens of thousands of dollars to clean this up. It’s not fair to taxpayers and it’s not fair to residents who wake up to a pile of garbage bags near their house,” he said.
The City has employed different strategies to address the problem. A challenge is the dumping often happens in the early morning hours or in remote locations.
“We needed to try something different. Even before, people who got caught might receive an infraction and a court date,” Rosario said. “We need to send a message to people, a message with real consequence, that this won’t be tolerated in Bridgeport.”
By Daniel Tepfer
BRIDGEPORT – A local woman accused of ripping off an elderly Michigan woman with a so-called “Nigerian” scam, claimed she was going into labor when detectives took her into custody.
“She is eight months pregnant and she told us she was having contractions,” Police Detective Frank Podpolucha said. “We took her to the hospital but she was later released.”
Tomeeka Cooper, 26, of Freemont Street, was charged with second-degree larceny.
Podpolucha said Cooper had been contacting a number of elderly people around the country claiming they had won a lottery but needed to send her money in order to pay off the taxes on the win before they could be awarded their prizes.
He said Cooper informed the 79-year-old Michigan woman she had won a Mercedes and a BMW and convinced the victim to send her $2,500. U.S. However, after sending the money the woman had second thoughts and contacted the post office.
Podpolucha said postal inspectors here intercepted the victim’s payment and called the police. He said they then set up surveillance at the post office here and arrested Cooper on Friday when she picked up the letter from the victim containing the cash.
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