NL woman remains critical following fatal crash

Meggan Shafer, excited for the upcoming New England Patriots game, posted on her Facebook page at 6:30 Sunday morning: "Leaving for Foxboro with the boys in an hour! Lets Go Pats!!!"

By Monday morning, the page was filled with dozens of prayers and well wishes as Shafer remained in critical condition at Hartford Hospital after the car she was riding in on the way home crashed, killing the three other occupants.

Kyle Fedors, 29, of East Lyme, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on Interstate 84 in Willington. Keith Devlin, 35, of Wethersfield, and Walter Dlugozima, 30, of New London, were flown by Life Star medical helicopter to Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, where they were later pronounced dead.

Life Flight took Shafer, 27, of New London, to Hartford Hospital following the 8 p.m. incident.

The men were all graduates of East Lyme High School, and Shafer, a graduate of Fitch High School in Groton, lived with Dlugozima.

State police at Troop C in Tolland are still investigating the accident, including trying to determine who was driving the 2005 Toyota RAV4 at the time of the crash.

Police reported that the group was traveling west on the interstate, between exits 70 and 69, when the car, as it headed into a rest area, went out of control and rolled over several times, ejecting three of the occupants. Police said none of the occupants was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

The car was registered to Karina Devlin, Keith Devlin's wife.

Shane Avery, a bartender at Sneekers Cafe in Groton and a former co-worker of Devlin's, was shocked by the news. In Devlin he recalled a man whom everyone liked as soon as they met him.

"I knew him for at least 12 years," Avery said Monday night. "I lived in Mystic, when he was tending bar at 41- (Degrees) North. "

Avery, who has worked at Sneekers for more than five years, said when he first started he and Devlin both worked at the Groton night spot, but on different nights. Neither knew the other was there.

"Everybody talked about this great guy Keith who worked Saturdays," Avery said. "Then I filled in one Saturday and saw him. 'Oh, it's you.' I had no idea it was him. So I was surprised.

" ... I feel so bad for his family. He just got married in June. The whole world lost a good man and a great guy."

Kevin Devlin, Keith Devlin's father, told The Hartford Courant he had given his son his season passes so he and his friends could go to the game. His son had played football at East Lyme High and still loved the game.

"He was excited about it," Kevin Devlin said of Sunday's game in Foxboro, Mass.

Devlin, who owns an employee benefits consulting business in Rocky Hill, told the Courant his son was working for him as an account manager and had gotten married in June.

Fedors and Dlugozima met in high school and were as close as two people could get, according to Fedors' father, Michael Fedors.

"They were like brothers," he said.

Dlugozima owned a New London duplex and Kyle rented one of the apartments from his friend, Fedors said.

Michael and Donna Fedors described Kyle as a man who was "always up and ready to go."

"He was amazing. He had the nicest personality and people just gravitated towards him, he was just so much fun," Donna Fedors said Monday.

She described her son as the protector of his family and said he was especially protective of his 25-year-old sister, Kirsten. He was family-oriented and never missed a family gathering or holiday celebration, she said.

When he was a child, Donna Fedors said, basketball was his "whole life." That later included his stint on the East Lyme High team.

"I remember it would be wintertime and he would shovel a spot in the driveway just in front of the hoop so he could play, and then he'd let his father do the rest," she said.

She spoke about Kyle's love for children and animals. Recently, after two of the family's puppies died, Kyle had been grieving over the loss, she said.

Kyle Fedors earned a bachelors degree in engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2006 and was working as a civil engineer.

Day staff writer Chuck Potter contributed to this report.


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