NEW MILFORD — Police officers are still working to determine the cause of Tuesday’s Route 7 crash that killed a Kent woman and injured a New York man.

Christina Walters, of Kent, died after her vehicle crashed near the intersection of Kent and Cedar Hill roads around 9 a.m. Tuesday. The crash sent a dump truck tumbling down an embankment into the Housatonic River.

The truck driver — Jeff Greiner, 56, of Poughquag, N.Y. — managed to escape the partially submerged truck and wade to shore, New Milford Police Lt. Lawrence Ash said.

Griener was taken to Danbury Hospital and later released.

Walters died of “blunt impact of head, torso and upper extremities with fractures and visceral injuries,” according to the state medical examiner’s office. Her death was ruled accidental.

The cause of the crash is still unknown, and New Milford police had no new details Wednesday.

“As it remains under investigation, we’re still not going into the mechanics and aspects of the incident,” Ash said. “But I am hoping to have a preliminary cause by next week.”

Modzelewski’s Towing was called to the scene to help with extrication. The company’s owner, James Modzelewski, said it was a long day for him and his crew.

“The investigation took about five to six hours — we didn’t start on the actual recovery portion until about 4 p.m. — but we were there the whole time,” Modzelewski said. “It was a pretty interesting job — we had a dump truck 100 feet down (an embankment) submerged on a 28-degree angle.”

Modzelewski said the truck was partially loaded with “sand or gravel product.”

Roadway safety

State Department of Transportation workers were at the scene Wednesday morning repairing wire rope guide rails damaged in the accident.

“We don’t call them ‘guardrails’ — we call them guide rails — because ‘guardrail’ provides a false understanding that it’s there to guard you and prevent harm,” said DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick.

There are different types of guide rails, Nursick said, but they’re “all defeatable in one way or another.”

“They’re meant to attenuate impacts and redirect to some extent — but that doesn't mean they're going to guarantee safety,” he said.

In addition to guide rails, Nursick said, there are center-line rumble strips on the section of Route 7 where the crash took place.

Centerline rumble strips are designed to help prevent head-on collisions by alerting drivers when they’re crossing over the yellow line.

“There’s a physical sensation, as well as an audible sensation, and it gets an errant driver to correct themselves — hopefully before something terrible occurs,” Nursick said. “People drift across the yellow line for a number of reasons … and the results can be catastrophic.”

Although they’re shown to work, Nursick said, center-line rumble strips are not a safety guarantee, either.