FAIRFIELD — A Middlebury man escaped serious injury during a rush hour crash Monday when the brakes on his car failed.

According to police, Carlos DeSousa, 35, was northbound on the Merritt Parkway around 5:15 p.m. when his brakes failed and got off at Exit 44. As he came off the parkway at a high rate of speed, he traveled diagonally across Congress Street, and went about 350 feet up hill through trees before crashing. He complained of neck pain.

Police checked the brakes, and they went all the way to the floor. The brake fluid reservoir was also empty.

DeSousa, who was taken to St. Vincent’s Medical Center, was issued a ticket for improper brakes and traveling too fast for conditions.