A man in his 20s, who is known to police, is reported to have intentionally crashed his car into the Middlesex Hospital emergency room where it burst into flames. The unidentified suspect was seen running from the hospital on fire. He was eventually airlifted to Bridgeport Hospital.
Shortly before 10:00 a.m., a driver in Middleton, Connecticut is alleged to have intentionally crashed into the emergency room of the Middlesex Hospital with a car that burst into flames.
Roughly 30 people were in the emergency room at the time of the crash and were all evacuated safely.
Based on eyewitness accounts, after crashing the car, the man then allegedly set himself on fire and was seen running out of the hospital in flames. A neighbor who witnesses the crash said he heard the man on fire screaming for help.
“Just heard an explosion. I got up, looked out the back window and then I looked at the hospital and that’s when I saw the car in there, and then I saw a guy come running out with — he was on fire, screaming for mercy and he just kept screaming and screaming and some guys ran up to him, threw something on him, put him on the gurney,” said Gary Mills, who lives right across the street from the hospital.
Another witness said the man appeared to be naked.
Police shut down the area as at least a dozen firefighters from the downtown Middletown and Cross Street stations, and Westfield Volunteer Fire were on hand.
We will be holding a press conference at noon regarding the emergency at Middlesex Hospital. At this time we don’t believe there is any threat to the community and we believe this to be an isolated incident.
— Mayor Dan Drew (@MayorDanDrew) February 22, 2018
According to officials, this is an isolated incidence. While the suspect is known to Middletown police, they are not releasing his name or personal information at this time. The 20-year old was transported by Life Star to the burn center at the Bridgeport Hospital.
At the press conference, Mayor Dan Drew said that multiple gas cans were found inside the silver sedan that crashed into the hospital. As a precaution, officials called in assistance from other municipal, state and federal authorities to assist in clearing the vehicle and the individual’s home before police entered it.
Homes in the immediate vicinity around the suspect’s home were evacuated. The emergency room of the Middlesex Hospital and buildings around it have also been evacuated pending a more detailed search by state and federal authorities. All outpatient services at the hospital have also been suspended until further notice.
City officials have called in additional police officers and sent them to secure other important facilities, including schools; though there is no reason to believe those facilities are in danger.
The mayor said the investigation is still in its early stages and they do not know what the suspect’s motives were. Nor are they willing to speculate.