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21-year-old college student from Massachusetts among 4 killed in fiery wrong-way highway crash



A Massachusetts man attending college is among 4 killed in a fiery wrong-way highway crash.

According to Connecticut State Police, on Thursday at approximately 1:45 a.m., Troop G dispatch received 911 calls of a wrong way driver traveling on RT. 15 South, south of exit 53. Troop G dispatch was then notified the vehicle was involved in a head on collision and was engulfed in flames.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a vehicle occupied by Steven Rowland, 65, Thomas Lucian Vitale, 80, and Olga Vitale, 81 (all from Easton), was traveling on Route 15 South, in the right lane. 21-year-old Alexander Dennis of Wayland, MA was traveling northbound in the southbound travel lanes (wrong way), resulting in a head on collision. The vehicle being driven by Dennis became fully engulfed in flames.

All 4 occupants died at the scene. Dennis’ body was so unrecognizable, he wasn’t identified until today.

According to Fairfield University, Dennis had just completed his junior year on campus and was traveling home to Massachusetts for the summer when the car accident occurred. As a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, Alex was a visual and performing arts major with a special interest in film.

“At a time of year when we are actively engaged in the celebration of our students and their accomplishments, a loss like this seems inconceivable. Those who knew and loved Alex will be especially impacted by his passing, and his loss will be felt across campus. Our Jesuit colleagues are available to our community, as are staff members from Campus Ministry and the Counseling Center. For employees, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) may also be a helpful resource at this time.” -President Mark R. Nemec PhD

C.A.R.S., Stratford Fire Department, Trumbull Fire Department, Stratford E.M.S. and D.O.T. assisted on scene.

Route 15 South was closed for approximately seven hours.

The case is currently being investigated. Contact Troop G at (203) 696-2500 if you witnessed this collision.Β 



  1. Jake Perry

    May 14, 2024 at 10:39 pm

    Hey politically correct Mark R. Nemec, what abot the three innocent victims he hit and killed? Any sympathy for them?

    • Harriet

      May 15, 2024 at 9:01 am

      They should paint at arrows, yellow arrows on the ramps, so people know which direction they’re growing in

    • Janice Eno

      May 15, 2024 at 9:40 am

      You need to make that a priority !!!
      Absolutely disrespectful & disgusting victimization times 3!

    • Sylvia Cassese

      May 15, 2024 at 4:11 pm

      Yes I pray for tht family as well tht God will help them and their family. πŸ’œπŸ™πŸΌ

  2. Barrack Warren

    May 15, 2024 at 5:10 am

    It seems like these wrong-way crashes are becoming more and more common. Every few weeks, they’re happening, and this certainly wasn’t the case even a few years ago.

    Perhaps a public safety committee could be formed to investigate these accidents and determine what is happening. Maybe better signage or more training could reduce the number of senseless accidents that occur due to wrong-way driving.

    Prayers to the victims and their families.

    • Lorna Murray

      May 15, 2024 at 9:32 am

      I, one hundred percent agree, a review board should look into this matter immediately! Loss of life that can be prevented, should be a top priority!!!

  3. Sylvia Cassese

    May 15, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    My niece went to school with him at Fairfield U. πŸŽ₯ God help this family and stay close to them. Such a tragedy. Rest in peace Alex. Gone toooo soon. πŸ’œπŸ™πŸΌ

  4. Robert Fuller

    May 16, 2024 at 8:47 am

    Terrible tragedy. Don’t they teach kids today about going onto on ramps? The signs “Do Not Enter” are clearly there. Maybe they need to spread out all on ramps and off ramps more. I just did about 2000 miles of driving this past April and definitely saw many on ramps and off ramps way too close to each other. I can easily see how a young person who’s overtired making a mistake if they’re not paying attention. Very sad for the three people who died through no fault of their own. Maybe an extra large sign saying “OFF HIGHWAY ONLY” after the “DO NOT ENTER” Such a tragedy. πŸ˜’πŸ˜”

  5. Robert Fuller

    May 16, 2024 at 8:52 am

    p.s. Adding arrows would help too.

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