Norwalk Police: drunk driver crashed minivan into construction zone

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NORWALK – A Bridgeport man crashed a minivan in an I-95 construction zone early Saturday morning after fleeing from police, and injured five people, including a female passenger who was ejected, according to police.

After observing a minor equipment violation on a minivan traveling northbound on West Avenue  at 2:10 a.m. on Saturday and attempting to check the registration plate, the officer continued northbound on West Avenue as the minivan entered I-95 southbound.

The officer located the minivan traveling southbound on I-95 in the right lane, after the computer response indicated that the plate as stolen. As the officer was confirming the stolen plate, the minivan drove onto the shoulder and slowed to about 10 mph. The officer pulled in behind and then activated his emergency lights.

Police said the minivan suddenly accelerated and swerved from the right shoulder to the left lane then back to the right lane. The officer activated his siren, attempting to stop the minivan. The driver, Marino De Los Santos, 35, of Bridgeport, chose not to stop and passed several vehicles on the right at a high rate of speed near Exit 14, police said.

With signs posted announcing a construction zone ahead the officer broke off the pursuit, slowed his vehicle and lost sight of the minivan. The officer asked dispatch to notify Connecticut State Police of the suspect’s last known location.

According to police, De Los Santos apparently lost control of the minivan in the construction zone near Exit 11, crashing into a guard rail and then a construction truck, injuring two workers. The force of the impact ejected one of the female passengers from the minivan, causing serious injuries. De Los Santos and a second female passenger were also injured. In total, four victims and De Los Santos were transported by ambulance to Norwalk and Stamford Hospitals.

De Los Santos admitted that he had been drinking and did not have a license. He was charged with a DUI,  four counts of second-degree assault with a motor vehicle,  reckless operation, engaging in pursuit, possession of stolen registration plate, misuse of plates, operating a motor vehicle without a license, failure to carry insurance card, and failure to have tail lamps.

Bond was set at $50,000. A court date of 09/08/2015 was issued.

Connecticut State Police have assumed the motor vehicle accident investigation.