Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
March 31, 2010
                              MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT IN OLD LYME

Three Connecticut State Troopers are being hailed as heroes after jumping into frigid swamp water to save the life of a motorist following a two- car accident on Interstate 95 in Old Lyme.

Vehicle #1, a 2008 Toyota RAV4, was traveling southbound in the right lane of I-95, just south of exit 71 in Old Lyme, while being operated by Pauline Pemberton DOB: 07/11/46 of Somerset, MA.

Vehicle #2, a 2005 International tractor-trailer unit was traveling behind vehicle #1 in the right lane of I-95, operated by Richard Morgan DOB: 04/26/63 of Gray, ME.


The RAV4 came upon slow moving traffic and began to slow down. The tractor-trailer operator observed the RAV4 slow down but was unable to decrease speed before striking the RAV4 from behind. After being struck by the tractor-trailer unit, the RAV4 traveled off the right shoulder, rolled onto its roof and down a 40-foot embankment coming to rest on its roof in a swamp.

The entire passenger compartment of the vehicle became submerged in water with operator #1 trapped in the vehicle. Trooper First Class Gary Cipolletta, Trooper David Malek and Trooper Dawn Taylor arrived on the scene within minutes. The Troopers ran down the steep embankment and jumped into the frigid water in an attempt to locate occupants of the vehicle.

They located operator #1, who was found to be the sole occupant of the vehicle, along with her cat.  Operator #1 was under water, trapped in the vehicle. The Troopers rapidly pulled operator #1 from the vehicle and found that she was not breathing.

The three Troopers initiated CPR on the operator on the side of the embankment. CPR continued until EMS arrived and whisked the operator to Yale-New Haven Hospital by Old Lyme Ambulance. The cat was also saved by the Troopers and transported to the Old Lyme Animal Shelter. 

Operator #1 remains at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Below is a photo taken from the scene of the accident.
Photo of Troopers at Scene

-          end -