72-year-old charged with DUI after critically injuring jogger

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A 72-year-old man was arrested on drunk driving charges after striking a pedestrian in North Haven on Wednesday afternoon.

A sneaker sits in the road. It’s a grim reminder as police piece together how a truck hit a 21-year-old jogger.

“That is so sad. That is so sad,” said Joan Mazurek, North Haven.

After hours of investigating, police say it turns out 72-year-old Theodore Spalding was drunk behind the wheel. Around 2 p.m. police say he hit the North Haven man. Spalding stopped and pulled over. Two nurses and a doctor happened to be driving by and helped the man who suffered two broken legs and severe trauma to his face.

When asked if he thinks that those two nurses and doctor just happening to be there saved the man’s life, Capt. Mark Genovese, North Haven Police said, “there’s a good chance of that yes.”

Witnesses say they saw police giving Spalding a sobriety test. Police took him into custody, a scary scenario for one North Haven runner knowing one bad decision can dramatically change lives.

“I watch out I don’t expect people to watch out for me I’m really careful cars are coming I’ll go off the road. I’m very careful,” said another jogger.

“It only takes a second for someone to take their eyes off the road and they speed,” said Mazurek.

Spalding’s been charged with driving under the influence and assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle. He’s being held on a  $100,000 bond and will be arraigned in Meriden Superior Court Thursday. The young man who was struck by Spalding’s vehicle is currently listed as critical condition. They’re not releasing his name because police say not all of next of kin have been notified.

Middletown Avenue between Cloudland Road and Great Meadow Drive was closed while the South Central Connecticut Regional Traffic Unit investigated the incident. Any witnesses to the accident are asked to contact Officer Rienzo at 203-239-5321.

Earlier in the day, in Bristol, a 33-year-old woman was hit by a truck. Jana Olsen was listed in stable condition with neck and back injuries at a nearby hospital, police said. The driver, Arthur Evan, 76, of Hartford, was not immediately charged, and the crash is under investigation, according to police.

Police said Olsen was hit while walking westbound with traffic along Redstone Hill Road at 11:44 a.m. Evan was driving a truck with a dump body, police said. Anyone with information can contact the Bristol Police Department Traffic Division at (860) 584-3030.

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