Pool Drained onto Flax Hill Results in Car Accidents

Reckless Endangerment charges for swimming pool company employee after multiple car accidents occurred on ice from drained pool water along Flax Hill Thursday morning.

Flax Hill, the scene of multiple car accidents after pool water was drained onto the roadway. Photo courtesy Norwalk Police
Flax Hill, the scene of multiple car accidents after pool water was drained onto the roadway. Photo courtesy Norwalk Police
Vast amounts of water drained from an in-ground pool onto a nearby roadway quickly froze solid, creating a sheet of ice and causing three separate motor vehicle accidents and sending one person to the hospital shortly after 9:00a.m. on Thursday, according to Norwalk Police.

The ice was so vast that even responding officers initially had difficulty getting close to the accident scene, according to Norwalk Police Lt. Resnick, who added that the particular location of the incident involves a significant “S” style turn, on a downhill section of two-lane roadway. 
At 9:17a.m. Norwalk Police Officers were called to Flax Hill Road near the intersection of Keeler Ave. for a one-car motor vehicle accident and icy roadway conditions.

Combined Dispatch notified DPW of the hazard and requested a response with sand and salt. Upon arrival, officers found a 2008 Subaru Legacy being driven westbound (downhill) on Flax Hill Road by a 69-year-young Norwalk woman who had spun out, turning 180 degrees and traveling across the double 
yellow line prior to striking the guardrail on the opposite side of the road, according to Resnick.
A short while later, a 2005 Jeep Liberty also being driven downhill by a Norwalk woman, spun out when braking for slower cars ahead, was struck by a trailing 2008 Subaru Forester, causing the Jeep Liberty to spin yet again. The Forester was being driven a Larchmont, NY man who stated that he attempted to brake, but was unable to avoid the spinning Jeep resulting in the second collision but no injuries. 
According to a release from Resnick, the third accident involved a 2012 Nissan Rogue being driven downhill that struck the now stationary 2005 Jeep Liberty. The Rogue then collided with the responding DPW plow truck prior to striking the truck’s snowplow blade and coming to rest. The 2014 Mack Truck was traveling uphill at the time of this collision applying salt to the roadway. The driver of the Nissan, a 54-year-old Norwalk woman, was taken to Norwalk Hospital for treatment of her injuries. She was released later in the day. 
Investigating officers determined that the severe icy conditions were caused by an employee of Swimm Pool and Patio, who had been sent to a nearby home to perform a winter pool service. During this “service”, the employee had drained water from the in-ground pool located at 1 Westview Ln with a hose, and ran that hose to the edge of Flax Hill Ave., discharging the water into the roadway, just uphill from the “S” turn and the scene of the collisions.

Patch spoke to DPW employee Eric Montgomery around 11:15a.m. at the scene of the incident on Flax Hill. "We put down treated salt, which is green," said Montgomery, who was waiting in his truck for the sand truck. "This treated salt is safe but it will refreeze after a while, so we need to put sand on top of it." 

Montgomery shook his head as drivers took the curve where the accidents had taken place at speeds of 40 miles per hour despite the 25 miles per hour posted speed limit. 

According to Resnick, Officers at the scene estimated that the pool water traveled approximately .1 mile down Flax Hill Rd, covering the roadway in ice, prior to pooling at low point in the roadway near the intersection of Primrose Court. 
Officers determined that the employee’s actions were responsible for the three accidents and contacted the pool company, summoning the employee back to the scene. When the employee returned to the scene, he admitted to draining the pool water into the roadway, which caused the extreme ice buildup on the road surface.
Officers promptly arrested 34-year-old employee, Alfredo Bahena-Benitez (AKA Freddy) of 198 East Ave, Norwalk. Bahena-Benitez was transported to police headquarters and charged with one count of Reckless Endangerment 2nd degree, CGS 53a-64. Bond was set at $1,000. Bahena-Benitez was issued a court date of January 21, 2014 at Norwalk Superior Court. 
Swimm Pool & Patio is located at 512 Post Road in Darien, CT.


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