Jilly Mehlman, Staff Photographer
At around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a 31-year-old woman was hit by a pickup truck at the intersection of Chapel and High Street in front of the Yale University Art Gallery.
According to New Haven Police Department spokesperson Anthony Duff, Robert H. Stallings, the pickup truck operator, was traveling west on Chapel Street when he drove through the intersection when he struck the crossing pedestrian. The police arrived on the scene shortly after the incident. The victim was immediately loaded into an ambulance and taken to Yale New Haven Health. A NHPD dispatch officer told the News that just after 3 p.m. that the victim was conscious and alert, having sustained a head laceration and internal injuries.
“Preliminary indications are the injuries to the pedestrian are non-life threatening,” Duff told the News.
Stallings, a 66-year-old man from West Haven, stopped his truck and remained at the scene for questioning, Duff said. In a NHPD press release on Wednesday, Duff indicated that Stallings failed a field sobriety test at the scene. NHPD’s investigation found Stallings at fault for driving under the influence.
Police temporarily blocked off Chapel Street from its intersection at College Street before permitting through traffic. Traffic continued to flow on High Street, but the section of Chapel Street between High and York Streets was closed following the incident. The street was cleared by Tuesday evening.
For the last two weeks, Chapel and High Street intersection has temporarily operated as a stop sign intersection, with temporary signs posted between lanes of incoming traffic from both one-way streets. The New Haven Independent reported that the temporary signs were placed after the stoplight system at the intersection suffered a technical failure.
Brand new pedestrian signal lights were installed at the Chapel and High Street intersection last year, but they have not yet been turned on. The lights will be activated sometime this year as part of a larger upgrade of pedestrian infrastructure across Downtown, according to Director of Transportation, Traffic and Parking Douglas Hausladen ’04. This intersection has not previously had pedestrian signals.
The police officers transported Stallings to the Union Avenue Detention Center and later released him on misdemeanor summons. Stallings is due to appear in New Haven Superior Court on June 1.
The incident comes two weeks after a fatal accident at the intersection of Chapel and Temple Street.
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Update, March 31, 2:55 p.m.: The story has been updated to include additional information from a Wednesday NHPD press release.
Update, March 31, 5:05 p.m.: This story has been updated to include Stallings’ name and further information about the traffic light failure at the intersection two weeks ago.