Police ID victims in Seymour crash that killed three people, including 4-year-old

SEYMOUR — Police on Friday identified the three people, including a young child, who were killed in a head-on accident Wednesday night.

The accident killed a female driver, a female passenger and a toddler in the backseat of a Hyundai Accent, Police Chief Paul Satkowski said Thursday. He said the female driver in the other vehicle was extricated and hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver was identified as 28-year-old West Haven resident Shanea Leary. Leary’s 4-year-old daughter, who was in the back seat, was also killed during the crash, police said. Police identified a front-seat passenger who was killed as 35-year-old Nicole Gibson of Ansonia.

The 33-year-old Brookfield woman behind the wheel of the Toyota was later extricated with “serious but non-life-threatening injuries,” Satkowski wrote.

The vehicles collided on Route 34 near its intersection with Argonne Terrace, police said.

In update Friday afternoon, Satkowski said Leary was driving the Hyundai east on Roosevelt Drive toward Derby at “an apparent high rate of speed” when the vehicle “failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway.”

The Hyundai crossed into the oncoming lane, where the driver of a Toyota Rav4 “tried to take evasive action but was unable to completely do so,” Satkowski wrote.

The two vehicles collided head-on near Argonne Terrace.

An initial report by police Thursday seemed to indicate the driver of the westbound Toyota had been speeding. But Satkowski’s update Friday later clarified police believe it was Leary’s car was traveling at a high rate of speed.

Police said no other occupants were in the Toyota at the time of the crash.

Police, EMS and fire units were called to the scene around 10 p.m. Wednesday night. When first responders arrived, they found both vehicles with “significant front end damage,” Satkowski said.

The Toyota was found on its side and in an embankment, while the Hyundai was found in the eastbound lane of the road facing west.

The State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Squad is investigating the accident alongside Seymour Police, Satkowski said.

He said the investigation remains “active and open,” and encouraged anyone who may have witnessed the crash, or who was in the area before it occurred, to contact investigators.

The stretch of road, which runs along the Housatonic River from Derby’s Lakeview Terrace to the Stevenson Dam Bridge, has been the location of hundreds of crashes in recent years, according to the University of Connecticut Crash Data Repository.

Anyone with information is asked to call lead investigator Dave Paratt at 203-915-2517, or the Seymour Police Department at 203-881-7600.