Norwalk man who worked at popular Westport restaurant killed in collision

Police say Matthew Balga, who worked at The Whelk, was crossing Riverside Avenue in Westport Saturday night when he was struck by a vehicle.

Mar 8, 2023, 12:53 AM

Updated 437 days ago

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A chef from a popular Westport restaurant is being remembered after he was killed in a collision near his job.
Police say Matthew Balga, who worked at The Whelk, was crossing Riverside Avenue in Westport Saturday night when he was struck by a vehicle.
Balga lived in Norwalk and had a large family in Stratford.
His family says along with cooking, Balga loved the martial arts, and enjoyed working on cars.
"Every weekend he would go and cook for his parents, they were elderly. I know he lost his mom, and his dad is probably taking this hard," said his landlord, John Lazaridis.
Flowers now sit along Riverside Avenue as a memorial for Balga.
"A very, very, very nice guy, that's all I can say about him," said Lazaridis. "It was a shock I found out two days later, I didn't even know he passed away Saturday."
The collision happened near the water, in a popular area with eateries and shops.
People News 12 spoke with say they want additional safeguards in the area.
"I think everyone has a story about almost getting hit around here while there is a crosswalk and yellow blinker nearby," said Kevin Downey, of Fairfield. "What you do need - better lighting, signs for crosswalks here, it's not unusual for people to not be paying attention."
Police say the driver of the vehicle did stop and cooperated with the investigation.


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