Reckless Driver That Took Life Of Lawyer In Black Rock Has Extensive Criminal History

The erratic operator of a Chrysler van that took the life of attorney Peter Tsimbidaros has an extensive criminal history including manslaughter, carrying a pistol without a permit and risk of injury to a child.

Tsimbidaros was transported to Bridgeport Hospital with critical injuries, according to police. News 12’s Frank Recchia reports that the local attorney died on Thursday.

On New Year’s Day, Keith Commerford, 50, was driving the van at a high rate of speed on Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock when it collided with the Honda CRV operated by Tsimbidaros on Ellsworth Street, according to police.

Peter Tsimbidaros

Earlier in the day, Commerford was issued a misdemeanor summons for an unrelated hit-and-run crash at the intersection of Chopsey Hill Road and Island Brook Avenue Extension. See video coverage above from Steve Krauchick, Doing It Local.

In 1989 Commerford, then 20 years old, was charged and convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of 22-year-old Leonard Massa at the University of Bridgeport. Commerford, who was not a student, crashed a fraternity party at the university.

“Peter was a trusted elder of the Bridgeport legal community, and I am heartbroken by his sudden, senseless, tragic death,” Bridgeport attorney Dennis Bradley told Recchia. “I have lost a good friend.”

News release from Police Department (prior to attorney’s death)

On January 1, 2020 at approximately 3:56 pm Bridgeport Patrol Officers responded to the scene of a serious crash at the intersection of Fairfield Avenue and Ellsworth Street. This was a two car motor vehicle crash involving a 50 year old Bridgeport man operating a red 2008 Chrysler Town and Country van and a 50 year old Bridgeport man operating a green 2006 Honda CRV.

The red Chrysler van was traveling westbound on Fairfield Avenue, at a high rate of speed, when it crossed the intersection of Fairfield Avenue and Ellsworth Street striking the green Honda CRV.

The red Chrysler van continued westbound, partially mounted the sidewalk in front of the Dunkin Donuts quick service restaurant (2550 Fairfield Avenue) and came to a stop. This collision caused the green Honda CRV to partially mount the sidewalk and come to a stop at the northwest corner of the intersection. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage.

Bridgeport Fire Department and AMR Ambulance responded to the scene. Drivers of both vehicles were transported to Bridgeport Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.

The Bridgeport Police Accident Reconstruction Team has responded to conduct further investigation.

The operator of the red Chrysler van is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. The operator of the green Honda CRV is being treated for critical injuries.

Fairfield Avenue was opened for the normal flow of traffic at approximately 7:30 pm.

The operator of the Chrysler van has been identified as Bridgeport resident Keith Commerford D.O.B. 06/23/1969. Charges related to this incident are pending the outcome of the investigation.

Anyone with additional information, related to this crash, is asked to contact the Bridgeport Police Department’s Traffic Division (Officer John Perry & Officer Cynthia Dolyak) at 203-576-7640.

Note: The Bridgeport Police Department Patrol Division issued Keith Commerford a misdemeanor summons for an unrelated hit and run crash that occurred yesterday at the intersection of Chopsey Hill Road and Island Brook Avenue Extension.



  1. Peter was a lanky lad who would often walk Saint Mary’s by the Sea with long strides. He would smile with a nod of his curly locks. A kind and gentle man.

    1. Racist, OIB is not just a news platform. It gives its, readers, community, an opportunity to post comments on the related news of Bridgeport. You taking the time to comment on a tragic event of someone passing, and the hurt for all parties involved just so you can excoriate Lennie on his own news platform is lower than your ranted racial voicemail to another councilmember. I would say this is even beneath the Troll, but here we are. You are now the biggest loser on this site.

      PS Lennie, you should sit up some cameras at the weekly council meetings. With Maira now in the council expect some interesting footage, just but me a popcorn machine for the freak show. 🙂

  2. Peter Tsimbidaros became a member of Fairfield Rotary Club in recent years and appropriate to the purpose of all such Clubs around the globe, offered service to the club by finding good weekly programs to feed the spirits and minds of members in attendance. He was fit and friendly as described above by Grin Ripper. It is interesting to find the affection and respect of fellow members of the bar for his work that specialized in youth justice issues.
    There seems quite a contrast between what is shared about him at this time, and what is part of public record regarding the other individual in their “auto confrontation”. May he rest in eternal peace. And may “public safety” officials come to a fair and honest conclusion regarding both crashes endured by the survivor on that day. Time will tell.


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