NEWS ALERT: Norwalk woman charged with negligent homicide in Weston car crash

car engine

The engine of a Ford Focus was ejected and landed own an embankment on Newtown Turnpike following a car crash in May. The driver of the car was charged with negligent homicide. —Matt Brodacki photo

A Norwalk woman was charged with negligent homicide following the death of an 85-year-old woman from a car crash on Newtown Turnpike in May.

Weston police said Cindy Rivera, 20, of Norwalk, surrendered herself to the department on Thursday, Oct. 4, after learning there was a warrant for her arrest. She was held on $50,000 court-ordered bond and transported to Norwalk Superior Court where she will be arraigned this afternoon.

Ms. Rivera was charged with negligent homicide, reckless driving, speeding to endanger, operating a motor vehicle without a license, and failure to drive right in the proper lane.

Weston police made the arrest in connection with a fatal motor vehicle accident that took place on Newtown Turnpike in Weston on May 6. The accident claimed the life of Emily Smith, 85, of Norwalk.

According to the police report, on Sunday May 6, around 4:30 p.m., Ms. Rivera was driving a 2003 Ford Focus north on Newtown Turnpike near the Redding town line. There was a 16-year-old passenger in her car. As the car approached a curve in the road, it slid out of control, crossed over into the oncoming lane of traffic, and struck a Honda Accord, driven by Ms. Smith, head-on, trapping both drivers.

The crash was so intense that the engine of the Ford Focus was ejected nearly 50 feet from the car on impact and went down an embankment. Ms. Smith was transported to Norwalk Hospital with serious injuries, and died 16 days later.

Redding police did an accident reconstruction of the scene. Weston Police Detective Carl Filsinger said several factors were taken into account for the charge of negligent homicide with a motor vehicle. Based on the accident reconstruction information, he said the Focus was going too fast for conditions on the road, where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour. The tires on the Focus were also in poor shape, he said.

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