Speed the likely cause of New Haven rollover

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NEW HAVEN – Just after 2 a.m. Saturday morning, first-responders were on the scene of a single-car rollover at the corner of Sargent Drive and Hallock Avenue.

Firefighters used special equipment to extricate a gravely injured driver from the car, a small red Acura and the driver, 24-year-old William Rivera Jr., of Pardee Place in East Haven, was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

Police said speed is suspected as a significant contributing factor. A witness reported the car had been traveling at a “high rate of speed” along with another vehicle on the straightaway. Drag-racing has not been ruled out as a factor, although there is no evidence yet to support that theory, according to police.

An initial 911 caller reported hearing what he or she believed to have been a gunshot. According to Sergeant Roy Davis, a supervisor with the department’s Crash Investigation Unit, there has been no evidence yet uncovered to support the report of gunfire. It is not evident the vehicle or the was struck. It is probable the loud bang heard by the witness was the blow-out of one of the car’s tires.

Sargent Drive was closed for most of the morning after the crash.

Police are asking for anyone who witnessed the crash or who has information to call detectives at 203-946-6304.