Man dies after wires, tree fall on vehicle on Fairfield-Bridgeport line
A 21-year-old Southington man was killed Wednesday after a tree and wires fell on his car near the Fairfield-Bridgeport line.
In a prepared statement, Fairfield Police Capt. Robert Kalamaras said about 5:16 p.m. Fairfield Emergency Communications received a report of a large tree limb landing on a vehicle injuring a driver in front of 3595 Park Ave.
They arrived at the scene to find the driver, Jarrod Marotto, unconscious in the vehicle.
Marotto, who was living in an apartment near Sacred Heart University, was a popular student at SHU who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. His activities at the university included working in the student union, conducting interviews for Media Matrix and participating in Greek life. He was also a donor to the university, having made a senior gift last spring.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news of Jarrod Marotto’s death in a tragic accident when a tree fell on his car during last night’s storm,” said a statement from SHU’s magazine, Digital Citizen. “He was an editor and host of Digital Citizen in 2018. Jarrod was curious, studious, fun and well-liked by all.”
SHU President John J. Petillo issued a statement to the SHU community.
“It is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of Jarrod Marotto in a tragic accident when a tree fell on his car during last night’s storm,” the statement read. “Our hearts go out to Jarrod’s family and friends and to everyone in the SHU community who knew him. We will be keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers. I will share details about services as soon as we receive them.”
For the past year Marotto had been working as a trainer at PhatBurn fitness studio in White Plains, N.Y.
“Jarrod was an unbelievable great guy and great team member,” said PhatBurn owner Paul Wintergerst. “He always brought this incredible energy to the studio and we are all in shock. Jarrod was just a good kid, he worked out, did his school work, was not a partyer.”
Police and Fairfield and Bridgeport firefighters had to wait for an electrical crew to shut down power to the wires before working to free Marotto.
He was extricated by about 6:17 p.m. and turned over to paramedics who took him to St. Vincent’s Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead by hospital staff.
“Further investigation revealed that Jarrod was driving northbound on Park Avenue when a large limb from a cottonwood tree was struck by lightning and fell striking the vehicle and Jarrod on the driver side,” Kalamaras said. “Jarrod was the only occupant in the vehicle.”
This case is currently under investigation by the Fairfield Police Crash Reconstruction Unit.
While emergency personnel were at the scene of that incident, they were also called to an elevator rescue up the street at 3900 Park Ave., according to emergency radio transmissions.
Several accidents, downed trees and lightning strikes were reported throughout the region as Wendesday’s storm — the remnants of Hurricane Barry — brought heavy rains and winds to the area.
The National Weather Service put a Flood Watch in effect for the area until 5 a.m. Thursday.
At the peak of the storm, a total of 15 outages knocked power out to 1,399 customers in Fairfield, or 5.8 percent of the town. United Illuminating also reported handfuls of outages were in Bridgeport, Derby, Milford, New Haven, Orange, Stratford and Trumbull
Farther southwest, an outage in Stamford knocked out 753 customers, according to Eversource, with additional outages reported in Norwalk, Wilton, Westport and Greenwich.
Eversource also reported outages in Seymour, Oxford, Beacon Falls, Southbury and Monroe, where the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library in Monroe closed early because of a power outage.
Fairfield Citizen Editor Thomas Henry contributed to this story.