NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Connecticut News

Driver Intentionally Crashes Car Into Middletown Hospital

middlesexhospital_wikimediacommons_180222.jpg
Middlesex Hospital Marketing
/
Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Conn.

Updated at 4 p.m.

Authorities have identified the driver who they say intentionally crashed his car carrying containers of flammable liquid into a Connecticut hospital and set himself on fire.

27-year-old Steven Ellam, of Middletown, was listed in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital.

Court records show he has numerous convictions, including for assault, attempted assault and strangulation. He was sentenced in 2014 to 33 months in prison. Police at the time said he attempted to strangle a woman using plastic bags after telling her she had sinned and was going to die.

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew says they don’t know his motivation for driving the car into the doors of the Middlesex Hospital emergency room at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

Drew says there was one other injury in the incident, a security guard who was treated for smoke inhalation.

----

Authorities say a driver today intentionally crashed into a Connecticut hospital emergency room with a car that burst into flames.

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew says the driver had multiple gas containers in the vehicle when he crashed through an entrance to Middlesex Hospital.

David Giuffrida, vice president of operations at Middlesex Hospital, says it happened around 10 a.m.

“All our patients are safe. We evacuated patients from our ED [Emergency Department] to other parts of the hospital and they're all being attended to.”

A man who lives across from the hospital says he heard what sounded like an explosion and saw a man on fire come running out, screaming for help.

Mayor Drew says the man's motives aren't known.   

“I want to be crystal clear that it’s early in the investigation. We do not know what this individual’s motives are, and we will not speculate to his motives.”

Authorities say the driver is a man in his 20s who is known to Middletown police. Homes in the neighborhood where the driver lives were evacuated, and federal authorities have been called in.