Driver of Passenger Car Dies on Merritt Pkwy after Rear Ending Stopped Tractor Trailer

A Stamford man died around 6:00am on Thursday morning in a crash on the Merritt Parkway in Greenwich near exit 31.

The driver, Akija Elezaj, 62, rear ended a tractor trailer driven by Adam J. Peterson, 29, of Pennsylvania who was not injured, according to Connecticut State Police.

Mr. Elezaj was transported to Stamford Hospital with life threatening injuries. He pronounced dead at Stamford Hospital.

Commercial vehicles, including tractor trailers, are not allowed on the Merritt Parkway.

On the historic parkway was completed in 1940, almost 20 years before most of I95 through Connecticut opened.

The Depression-era public works project was never intended for commercial traffic, but rather was indented to reduce traffic on route 1.

The overpasses are too low for them to pass underneath.

Prohibited from the Merritt are commercial motor vehicles, trailers, all towed vehicles except as provided in Section 14-298-240; buses, hearses  when part of a procession or cortege, and vehicles whose dimensions, including any load exceed one of the following: Length – 24 feet; Width – 7 feet 6″; Height – eight feet.

According to CT state police, the tractor trailer driven by Mr. Peterson, moved to the left lane as it approached the Stanwich Road overpass, but stopped just prior to the overpass.

Mr. Elezaj’s car, traveling behind the tractor trailer struck the rear of the tractor trailer.

The crash is under investigation. No charges have been filed as of Thursday.


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