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A Taurus Loaded with Men and Weapons Engaged Police in Pursuit Before Crashing into Stevenson Dam

A passenger allegedly had a shotgun resting in his lap, fully loaded with a bullet in the chamber

A car chase on Route 34 ended early this morning when the fleeing 2003 Ford Taurus crashed into Stevenson Dam. The four male occupants were hospitalized with serious injuries and weapons were found in the rented vehicle, according to police.

At around 4 a.m., a police officer pulled over the Ford Taurus for traveling on Route 34 at a high rate of speed. But when a second police cruiser arrived on the scene, the driver took off, police said.

Capt. Michael Flick said the front seat passenger had a shotgun in his lap, fully loaded with a bullet in the chamber and that an assault pistol resembling an Uzi was in the back seat.

"It's one of those cases where you wonder what would have occured if the officer handled it alone," Flick said of the initial stop, "because they didn't flee until the second officer arrived."

As the second police car arrived, the Taurus sped on Route 34, heading east toward Derby, blowing by Zoar Burger before the driver crashed while trying to make a sharp left turn onto the bridge over the dam, according to Sgt. Keith White.

The front seat passenger was trapped inside the wreckage and Stevenson and Monroe volunteer firefighters were called in to extricate him from the vehicle. They cut the roof off of the station wagon to remove him to safety within 15 minutes, according to Monroe Fire Department spokesman, Kevin Catalano.

Two Monroe and two American Medical Response ambulances were on scene. White said all four men were in their mid-20s and that two were from Hamden and two were from New Haven.

Two of the men were admitted to St. Vincent's Medical Center and two to Bridgeport Hospital. All four will be facing arrests with charges pending during their hospitalization, according to White.

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