January 27, 2021


Two state troopers were injured Friday after a vehicle rear-ended a parked State Police cruiser, officials said.

The accident happened just before 5 p.m. on I-91 south near Exit 25 in Wethersfield.

According to the accident report, Trooper Donald Stankosky and Trooper trainee Nicolas Terry stopped to help the driver of a disabled vehicle on the left shoulder of the highway.

While they were on the scene, a separate three-car accident occurred at the same location.

Police said Rafael Jose Mendoza, 28, of East Hartford, was driving one of the vehicles.

The report said Mendoza’s 2017 Legacy was following too close to the vehicle ahead of him. As it slowed, he swerved to the left to avoid striking it.

Mendoza’s vehicle then struck the rear of the troopers’ cruiser, police said.

The impact pushed the cruiser forward into the disabled vehicle and into Trooper Terry, who had just exited the police cruiser, the accident report said.

Terry “received moderate (non-life threatening) injuries,” the report said. Trooper Stankosky and Mendoza sustained minor injuries. All three were transported to the hospital.

The driver of the disabled vehicle was not injured.

The crash remains under investigation.

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