NORWALK, Conn. – A man draining a pool in freezing temperatures caused three car accidents in Norwalk Thursday morning, police said.
The first of the three accidents occurred at about 9:15 a.m. A car traveling downhill on Flax Hill Road near Keeler Avenue hit an ice patch, spun out and collided with a guardrail. A Public Works truck was dispatched to the scene to salt and sand the roadway, police said. The driver was not injured in the crash.
Not long after the first accident, a second collision occurred when a vehicle slowed down for traffic and was struck from behind by another car. The driver of the following car told police that he attempted to stop, but was unable to because of the ice on the road. No injuries were reported in that crash.
The final accident started when an SUV, also heading downhill, struck one of the now-stopped cars involved in the previous accident. The SUV continued into the DPW plow truck that had been called to the scene, striking its plow blade. The driver of the SUV, a 54-year-old Norwalk woman, was taken to Norwalk Hospital with minor injuries and later released after treatment.
Police investigating the scene traced the ice patch to a hose coming from an in-ground pool at a Westview Lane home, according to police reports. An employee of Swimm Pool and Patio was draining the pool, allowing the water to go onto Flax Hill Road uphill of the accident scenes, police said. The water froze in the extreme cold, covering approximately a tenth of a mile of road in ice.
The employee, Alfredo Bahena-Benitez, 34, of East Avenue in Norwalk, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment. He was released on a $1,000 bond and is due in court on Jan. 21.