Driver crashes vehicle into hospital before set self on fire

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On Thursday morning, a 27-year-old Middletown man intentionally crashed the auto he was driving through the sliding doors and into the vestibule, before setting himself on fire.

Authorities say a driver intentionally crashed into a CT hospital emergency room with his auto and then set himself on fire. "We trust this is a detached occurrence and nobody else was harmed".

According to Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, the act was intentional and that there were gas cans in the auto.

Police also added the gas cans Ellam had in his vehicle are now being investigated.

The crisis room and adjacent structures were emptied as a safeguard was the inquiry proceeds with, Drew said.

Hospital officials said all patients at the hospital were safe.

This as a result of heavy fire and structural damage sustained to the emergency department entrance.

Police are not releasing the identity of the driver but say he is a man in his twenties.

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The man, who WFSB reported is named Steven Ellam, was transported by LifeStar helicopter to Bridgeport Hospital, which has the state's only burn center.

Drew said investigators were also looking into a home at 66 Milardo Middletown and evacuated neighboring houses around it.

She said on Friday that patients who visit the hospital's temporary emergency department space should drive to the main entrance of the hospital and look for a security officer who is supposed to direct them to where they need to go. Several homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution.

Middlesex Hospital issued an alert on its website February 23 indicating the ER will remain closed and all nonemergency surgeries scheduled for February 23 will be canceled.

About 30 patients and 20 staff members were evacuated from the emergency department after the crash.

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew says the driver had multiple gasoline containers in the vehicle when he crashed through an entrance to Middlesex Hospital Thursday morning. However, their Westbrook and Marlborough facilities remain open.

MidState Medical Center, both campuses of The Hospital of Central Connecticut and Hartford Hospital are accepting diverted patients.

"As always again, our first priority is to our patients, and everybody is safe and being attended to", Giuffrida said.