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Police ID man who died in crash into sports arena

BRIDGEPORT — Authorities have released the name of the man who died when his car crashed into a Connecticut sports arena on Thanksgiving Day.

Police on Saturday said 31-year-old Stamford resident Wagner Mendez died at the hospital after crashing into the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport at about 2 p.m. Thursday.

Police say the car was traveling at a “tremendous amount of speed” before it struck the building, rolled over several times and caught fire. Mendez was trapped under his vehicle.

The crash smashed some glass doors and knocked bricks from the facade, but authorities say the building remains structurally sound.

The 10,000-seat arena hosts mostly minor league hockey and college hockey and basketball games. No events were scheduled on Thanksgiving Day and only a few security guards were inside.

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