It was a scene that onlookers described as “heartbreaking,” said Efrain Suarez of Hartford.
A crash involving two vehicles at Broad St. and Grand shut down the area for a few hours Saturday afternoon. Suarez said his cousin saw police try to help the man who was killed in one of those cars.
“My cousin told me that they were trying to administer CPR but because the car t-boned him, all the ribs and stuff — he was bleeding bad,” Suarez said. “It was very little they could do because he was practically dead on the scene.”
Police said 44-year-old Jose Mendoza died in the crash.
As the hours passed, more people started to come to the scene to see for themselves what had happened. As news of the crash spread, so did concern.
“I know this is a man that’s not going to get home tonight,” Suarez said. “If he has a wife, children, a home, I can just imagine when she gets that phone call — your husband passed away at the scene — your kids. How do you explain that to a toddler or a kid 4 or 5 years old your dad is not coming home no more?”
Police said one of the cars involved in the crash was reported stolen out of Colchester. Suarez said his cousin told him there was some sort of chase. News 8 asked Hartford Police Officer Tyrell Jenkins if police were pursuing those vehicles.
“No, we can’t corroborate any of that,” Officer Jenkins said. “We were on scene pretty quickly and we rendered what aid we could and we started the investigation immediately.”
After the crash, police said they had taken two people into custody, but two other people had taken off from the scene. Suarez said his cousin saw those four people in the car that was reported stolen.
“Two got away and two were apprehended,” Suarez said. “One was a young girl he said maybe not even 13 years old. And the other one was 16, which was bleeding from her face and she wasn’t able to run and they apprehended her real quick.”
Suarez also said that part of Hartford is known for dangerous driving. He said a few months ago, a driver crashed into a fence near a basketball court next to Maria Sanchez Elementary School.
“This neighborhood is — they don’t respect the speed limit,” he said. “They don’t respect the motor vehicle laws — nothing.”
As of the writing of this article, Hartford Police have not said what caused the crash.