Area towns take blizzard in stride

Published on Thursday, 4 January 2018 21:39
Written by JUSTIN MUSZYNSKI

@muszynskiBP

BRISTOL - With the exception of a hit-and-run in Plainville, Thursday’s winter storm for much of the day caused minor issues for police in area towns, as many residents appeared to heed warnings about the dangers of the weather and stayed home.

Schools in Bristol, Plymouth, Southington Plainville, New Britain, Berlin and Newington will be closed today.

As of Thursday afternoon, Bristol police had only responded to three motor vehicle accidents. Two of the accidents involved two-car collisions, while a third involved a vehicle that slid into a utility pole. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

“That’s not normal,” Bristol police Lt. Richard Guerrera said of three crashes. “We normally have more than that when there’s weather like this. That’s good, considering how severe the weather was.”

Guerrera added that police received a number of reports throughout the day of vehicles stuck in various roadways.

In Plainville, a New Britain man was arrested Thursday morning after he was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run.

Adrian Kozikowski, 26, was tracked down by police and a Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officer after authorities followed his footsteps in the snow from the scene of a crash, Plainville police said. He is facing charges of interfering with an officer, evading responsibility, operating under suspension, making an improper U-turn and traveling too fast for conditions.

According to Plainville police, Kozikowski, driving a 1999 Dodge Durango, lost control of his vehicle, struck another vehicle and then struck a utility pole on Woodford Avenue, at Linden Street. Police received multiple calls from witnesses reporting the crash at about 6:57 a.m.

Police allege Kozikowski left the crash on foot. After the crash, a DEEP conservation officer happened to be in the area and stopped to help. The DEEP officer, along with police, followed the footsteps leading away from the crash through a wooded area, a number of residential backyards and over multiple streets. After searching for about half an hour, Kozikowski was found on Arcadia Avenue and arrested. He has been released on a $2,500 non-surety bond.

As of Thursday afternoon, Plainville police said that incident and another two-car crash, in which no injuries were reported, were the only accidents reported to them.

“We’ve assisted numerous disabled vehicles,” Plainville police Lt. Nicholas Mullins said in the afternoon hours.

Meanwhile, Southington police also reported a quiet morning and afternoon.

“I was out before and the roads were quiet,” Southington police Sgt. Jeffrey Dobratz said in the afternoon. “As of right now there are no reported accidents since midnight. Our biggest problem was tractor trailer trucks coming off I-84 and getting stuck on the hill going into the truck stop. This backed up onto I-84 for a little while, but things cleared up.”

Parking bans remained in effect in Plainville, Southington and Bristol into the afternoon hours.

Dominick Moschini, Plainville superintendent of roadways, said local crews were “keeping up with” the snowfall and that it was an “all hands on deck” situation.

Plainville Police Chief Matthew Catania said he had seen buildings and grounds crews out on the roads working all day with no issues.

“The Police Department has been able to get out to our calls - the only trouble being the snow blowing around. At times it was like near white-out conditions.”

Gabe Calandra, assistant superintendent of the Highway Department in Southington, said town roads were coated with a treated salt prior to the storm.

“It makes it so that the snow and ice doesn’t stick as much but with the wind it only lasts so long,” Calandra said. “Our guys came in right away today and got to work almost immediately because the snow is coming down so hard. They’ll keep on plugging away to keep them as open and as safe as possible for emergency traffic. For us, 10 inches of snow isn’t a big deal. The wind is a pain, though, because it keeps blowing the snow back at us.”

Curbside collections in Bristol were suspended Thursday, and City Hall closed early because of the storm, according to an emergency alert from the city. Curbside collections originally scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday are scheduled to be done on Friday, beginning at 6 a.m., the alert states.

Staff writers Brian Johnson and Lorenzo Burgio contributed to this story.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Plainville, Southington Herald, Plymouth on Thursday, 4 January 2018 21:39. Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2018 22:11.