HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut State Police are searching for the driver who was heading the wrong way on Interstate 91 South in Hartford early Sunday morning.
A trooper’s dashcam footage shows the wrong-way driver going north in the southbound high occupancy vehicle lane near Exit 33 around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.
State police said the trooper tried to stop the wrong-way driver, but the two vehicles collided.
“In this case, the trooper pulled off a little to the side and tried to point his lights at the vehicle to say, ‘hey, you’re going the wrong way, please stop,'” Trooper First Class Pedro Muñiz said.
WATCH: State police dashcam video captures wrong-way driver on I-91 South in Hartford
The wrong-way driver kept going, and troopers believe they got off at Exit 35.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to get a license plate, but it was a black sedan, and we’re looking at driver-side, front-end damage,” Muñiz said.
Anyone with information on the wrong-way vehicle or driver are asked to call Troop H in Hartford at (860) 534-1000.
“We’re asking the public if anyone has any information at all,” Muniz said. “No tip is too small. Please call Troop H.”
The number of wrong-way crashes has increased over this last year.
“In 2022, there were 12 wrong-way crashes that resulted in 23 fatalities,” said Josh Morgan, a Connecticut Department of Transportation spokesperson. “To put that in context, that is more than the three previous years combined — in terms of number of crashes, number of fatalities. Our data shows about 80% of wrong-way drivers are impaired. These crashes happen after 11 p.m. and before 4 a.m.”
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is doing what it can to address this.
“Over the years, we’ve done a host of things that people probably have seen if they’ve traveled around the state,” Morgan said. “A lot of wrong-way signage on the ramps, a lot of different markings we have on the pavement and guide rails, and now we’re installing detection systems that will activate red, flashing LED lights if a vehicle is detected driving in the wrong direction.”
Everyone is encouraged to do their part as well.
“People who are out there driving understand that that’s an enormous responsibility,” Morgan said. “Anytime they get behind the wheel, they need to do so sober, they need to stay alert, they need to pay attention. They’re putting themselves and others at risk.”
If you see a wrong-way driver, state police say to call 9-1-1 right away.
Stay in the right or center lanes if you’re driving during the overnight hours when most wrong-way crashes happen. When a wrong-way driver gets on the highway, they’ll be in the left lane, which they think is the right lane. This will give you the space and the time you need to respond.