Driver with Stolen License Plate Flees Police on I95. Crash with Serious Injuries Ensues.

A minivan fled from a Norwalk Officer on I-95 southbound at 2:10 am on Saturday.

After observing a minor equipment violation on a minivan traveling north on West Ave in Norwalk and attempting to check the registration plate, Norwalk Police continued northbound on West Ave as the minivan entered I-95 southbound. However, the officer turned around when the computer response indicated that the plate as stolen.

The officer located the minivan traveling southbound on I-95 in the right lane. As the officer was confirming the stolen plate, the minivan drove onto the shoulder and slowed to about 10 mph. The officer pulled in behind and then activated his emergency lights. The minivan suddenly accelerated and swerved from the right shoulder to the left lane then back to the right lane. The officer activated his siren, attempting to stop the minivan, but the driver, later identified as Marino De Los Santos, 35, of 785 Hancock Ave in Bridgeport, failed to stop and passed several vehicles on the right at a high rate of speed near exit 14.

With signs posted announcing a construction zone ahead, Police broke off the pursuit and lost sight of the minivan. The officer asked Dispatch to notify State Police of the suspect’s last known location.

The operator lost control of the minivan in the construction zone near exit 11, crashing into a guardrail and then a construction truck, injuring two workers.

The force of the impact ejected one of the female passengers from the minivan causing serious injuries.

The operator of the minivan and a second female passenger were also injured. In total, four victims and the minivan’s operator were transported by ambulance to Norwalk and Stamford Hospitals.

De Los Santos admitted that he had been drinking and did not have a license. He was charged by Norwalk Police with DUI, Assault 2nd with a Motor Vehicle (four counts), Reckless Operation, Engaging in Pursuit, Possession of Stolen Registration Plate, Misuse of Plates, Operating a motor vehicle without a License, Failure to carry Insurance Card and Failure to have Tail Lamps.

Bond was set at $50,000 and De Los Santos has a court date of Sept. 8.

Connecticut State Police have assumed the motor vehicle accident investigation.

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