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Driver, 21, Charged After Fleeing Police, Causing Fatal Crash In Bridgeport

Joseph Guzman-Rivera Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police
The fatal crash occurred at Railroad Avenue and Iranistan Avenue in Bridgeport on Thursday afternoon. The suspect's car also hit two pedestrians. Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A woman is dead and two pedestrians were “severely injured” Thursday after a driver fled from a State Trooper on Interstate 95 and sped down Bridgeport streets, causing a fatal crash, police said.

At about 1 p.m., a State Police trooper from Troop G was pursuing a black Infiniti when it stopped in a southbound traffic lane on the highway, State Trooper Kelly Grant said.

When the trooper asked the driver, later identified as Joseph Guzman-Rivera, 21, of Colorado Avenue, Bridgeport, to move to the shoulder, he sped off the ramp of Exit 28 to South Street, she said.

The trooper gave chase and saw Guzman-Rivera's car plow into a car driven by a woman at Iranistan and Railroad avenues, Grant said.

Sybil Hopkins, who lives on Iranistan, said she didn’t see the crash, but she heard the commotion.

“So many sirens kept going off,” she said. “I’m, like, something terrible has happened.”

The trooper stopped to treat the woman, who has not yet been identified, and saw Guzman-Rivera continue to drive, hit two nearby adult pedestrians and then flee on foot, Kelly said.

While the trooper was tending to the victims, state K-9 Nero tracked Guzman-Rivera to a basement in a home on Lewis Street. Guzman-Rivera did not know the owners, she said. He was apprehended by state troopers and Bridgeport police and placed under arrest, Kelly said.

The woman driver was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

Guzman-Rivera physically assaulted Nero and was taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where he was treated for injuries sustained in the crash, police said.

He was also found in possession of heroin, crack cocaine and powder cocaine, Grant said.

Upon release from the hospital, Guzman-Rivera was transported to Troop G-Bridgeport where he was charged with three counts of possession of narcotics, three counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell, three counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school, illegal injuring of a police service animal and second-degree burglary, police said.

Guzman-Rivera was held on $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at Bridgeport Superior Court on Friday, Aug. 11.

More charges will likely follow from the Bridgeport Police Department, which is investigating the crash and fatality, she said.

Av Harris, a city spokesman, said the two pedestrians were “severely injured” and transported to the hospital.

At about 4 p.m., Bridgeport police were still on the scene, working to reconstruct the crash. The road reopened just after 5 p.m., in time for the afternoon rush hour.

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