At approximately 6 a.m. this morning, an early morning accident shut down Merritt Parkway between exits 44 and 42 southbound for approximately 45 minutes. The three car accident resulted in one vehicle rolling over multiple times and catching on fire. When fire crews arrived the vehicle's engine compartment was burning and an off-duty firefighter had already deployed a fire extinguisher to slow the fire's spread. The female driver of the car was treated on scene by fire and ambulance personnel and transported to St. Vincent's Hospital.

A second minor accident occurred as a result of the first accident involving two vehicles, however no one was injured in that accident and there was minimal damage. Fire personnel closed the highway for approximately 30 minutes to extinguish the car fire and provide medical treatment to all victims on the scene. One lane of traffic was reopened and tow trucks which arrived on scene after the patients were removed had begun to clear the roadway and restore normal traffic flow.

Estimated time to clear the highway was approximately one hour. Traffic delays remained on the southbound side of the parkway for some time after the initial accident. The names of those involved were not available at press time according to Incident Commander Scott Bisson, an assistant chief with the Fairfield Fire Department.