A driver died Monday morning after running a red light on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington and colliding with a police cruiser on its way to an emergency call, according to police.
Police said Jason Augeri, 41, of Southington, drove through a red light at the intersection with Deming Road around 7 a.m. and crossed into the path of the police cruiser, which had activated its lights and sirens. Augeri was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officer, Ryan Williams, a more than seven-year veteran of the department, was taken to the hospital for treatment. Police said Williams has since been released.
The highway was closed for several hours while authorities responded to the scene.
Police said Williams was responding to the report of a violent disturbance at the Grantmoore Motor Lodge at the time of the crash.
Newington resident Jennifer Lacoste was sleeping in her home more than a quarter-mile away when she heard the crash.
"You just heard the crash. Just a crunch," she said.
She and others looked on as members of the Mid-State Accident Reconstruction Squad investigated. Police said the Mid-State Major Crime Unit was also called out to gather evidence and interview witnesses.
"Such an unfortunate situation... someone losing their life early in the morning," said New Britain resident Luis Santana.
The crash remains under investigation. Police said the chief medical examiner's office is working to determine Augeri's cause of death and will perform a chemical analysis. Investigators from New Britain Superior Court are also involved.
Witnesses are urged to call Newington police at 860-666-8445.