20 Aug 2014
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Beacon Falls Man, 24, Dies Following Head On Crash

The accident happened on Route 8 in Naugatuck when a wrong-way driver collided with a car carrying a 24-year-old Beacon Falls man and a 22-year-old Stratford woman.

Beacon Falls Man, 24, Dies Following Head On Crash

A 24-year-old Beacon Falls man who was involved in a  in Naugatuck Saturday night has died.

William J. Baer Jr. was pronounced dead Sunday at Waterbury Hospital, according to the hospital’s nursing supervisor.

Baer was the driver of a car that was traveling in the southbound lane on Route 8 just north of Exit 27 in Naugatuck when it was struck head-on by a van. The van’s driver, 35-year-old Edmundo Mendieta of New Haven, was driving the wrong way on the highway – he was headed northbound in the southbound lane.

Baer’s lone passenger, 22-year-old Sara Chmielewski of Stratford, was listed in critical condition at Saint Mary's Hospital as of Sunday afternoon.

Mendiata was taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury and was listed in stable condition as of Sunday afternoon, according to nursing supervisor at that hospital.

Mendieta was operating a white 2003 Chevrolet van when it collided at 10 p.m. with a blue 2008 Honda Accord that Bear was driving.

A preliminary state police report did not indicate whether any of the three were wearing seatbelts.

No charges had been filed as of Sunday as the accident remains under investigation. A state police accident reconstruction team is expected to fully examine the details of the incident.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington will conduct an autopsy on Baer either Monday or Tuesday. 

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