Mayor: Driver intentionally crashed into ER; lit self aflame

Police say Steven Ellam drove a car filled with gas cans into a hospital in Middletown, Conn.

WFSB

Last Updated Feb 22, 2018 4:53 PM EST

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Authorities say a driver intentionally crashed into a Connecticut hospital emergency room with his car and then set himself on fire.

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew says the driver, identified as Steven Ellam, had multiple gasoline containers in the vehicle when he crashed through an entrance to Middlesex Hospital Thursday morning. Authorities say that Ellam's motives are not yet known.

Ellam was airlifted to Bridgeport Hospital's burn unit in critical condition, reports CBS affiliate WFSB. No one else was hurt.

Middletown Police Chief John Ewanciw told reporters Thursday that they believe Ellam acted alone and that his actions were an 
"isolated incident." Ewanciw also said that Ellam was "well known" to local police. 

WFSB reports that Ellam has an extensive criminal history in the state, dating back to 2008. He was reportedly convicted of driving under the influence, criminal mischief, and the most recent conviction was assault two years ago. In 2013, he was reportedly found guilty of trying to strangle someone.

The station also reports that Ellam quit his job at a local Italian restaurant on Wednesday.

A man who lives across from the hospital said he heard what sounded like an explosion and saw a man on fire come running out, screaming for help. The witness, Gary Mills, said responders put the man on a gurney.

"We went outside and we saw all the flames and then over this side I see this guy screaming, he was screaming! I said, that guy's on fire," Mills told WFSB.

Local authorities evacuated homes in the neighborhood where the driver lives. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.