Democratic leaders in the House told their members to expect a toxicology report for their former colleague, Quentin ‘Q’ Williams, to say that he was intoxicated when his vehicle was struck by a wrong-way driver hours after he was sworn into office.
Williams, the 39-year-old from Middletown, died in January, when his car was struck in a head-on collision by a vehicle driven by 27-year-old Kimede Mustafaj of Manchester, which was traveling in the wrong direction on Route 9 in Cromwell. Both drivers were pronounced dead on the scene, according to state police.
House Speaker Matt Ritter said that he was notified by the Commissioner of Public Safety that a report on Williams’ death would be coming out and that it would indicate he “was over the legal limit.”
“It goes without saying everybody should follow the law, but in no way does it diminish the way we feel about Q, or his legacy,” Ritter added.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined both Williams and Mustafaj died from “Blunt Impact Injury of Head, Neck, Torso and Extremities.” The office said it can not share toxicology reports with the public, only the family, attorneys, physicians, insurance agents and police departments.
A 2021 report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that roughly 60% of wrong-way crashes nationwide involved alcohol impaired drivers, making it the single most significant factor in those accidents. Other leading factors included older motorists and driving without a passenger. The group recommended drunk driving deterrence policies as well as more visible traffic signs and driver reeducation courses.
In Connecticut in 2022, 239 motorists and passengers were killed in crashes while 75 pedestrians were killed by vehicles. Those numbers represent a 41.5% and 31% increase respectively over the last five years, according to Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto.