Teen Fleeing Waterbury Police Hits Pedestrians In Crash, Killing 3-Year-Old

WATERBURY, Conn. — A car driven by a teenager fleeing Waterbury police on Tuesday afternoon went up onto a sidewalk after a collision with another car, plowing into a group of pedestrians and killing a 3-year-old, Connecticut state police said. 

Connecticut State Police are investigating the fatal accident in Waterbury.
Connecticut State Police are investigating the fatal accident in Waterbury. Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

At 3:45 p.m., Waterbury police officers in an unmarked car attempted to stop an 18-year-old male suspect who was driving an Acura and was wanted in a criminal investigation, state police said.

The suspect, identified as Zekhi Lee, refused to stop and fled, state police said. He later crashed into a Toyota Corolla at South Main Street and East Liberty Street in Waterbury, state police said. 

The impact of the crash sent the Acura onto the sidewalk, where it hit four pedestrians, state police said. Three sustained life-threatening injuries, and one was killed, state police said.

Lee tried to run, but was apprehended by Waterbury police officers a short time later, state police said.

Five people were transported to local hospitals:

  • One adult female pedestrian was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital.
  • One adult female pedestrian was transported via Life Star to St. Francis Hospital with serious injuries.
  • A 17-month-old pedestrian was transported via Life Star to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
  • One 3-year-old pedestrian, identified as Justin Quiroz, was pronounced deceased.
  • The male driver of the Corolla was transported to Waterbury Hospital with minor injuries.

Lee was not injured, state police said. 

At the request of the State’s Attorney’s Office, Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime detectives took over the investigation. 

During the collision, a light pole was also knocked down, state police said. 

State Police did not say why the police pursuit began or whether any charges have been filed. 

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Western District Major Crime Detective Ed Vayan at 203-267- 2200 or text TIP711 with any information to 274637. All calls and texts will be kept confidential.

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