2 Children And 1 Adult Dead After Van Rolls Into Pond At Connecticut Park

Wednesday, July 4th 2007, 3:34 pm
By: News On 6

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ A van rolled into a pond at a park Wednesday morning, killing an adult and two children and leaving another child in critical condition, authorities said.

The victims were in the water for 20 to 25 minutes, Fire Battalion Chief Ismael Pomales said.

The van's driver had apparently stopped near a concession stand and left the vehicle to ask for directions to a barbecue, Pomales said. The driver was still outside the van when it started to roll down a hill to a pond 60 or 70 yards away.

Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello confirmed that two of the children died. A third was being transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The children appeared to be under 5, Pomales said. They have not yet been identified.

The adult in the van was taken to St. Vincent's Medical Center, where she also died, Pomales said.

``It's horrible,'' Pomales said. ``We've had children die before. That's probably one of the toughest things for any rescue person to deal with.''

People nearby tried unsuccessfully to stop the van, Pomales said. Fire personnel could not reach the people inside the vehicle.

The Bridgeport Police Department's scuba team arrived a few minutes later and removed the victims from the van, which was submerged in 15 to 20 feet of water near Beardsley Zoo.

The driver, who was in apparent shock, was being questioned by police. She had another child with her who was not in the van when it went underwater, Pomales said.

Beardsley Park was closed while emergency crews worked but later reopened.