If you haven’t heard about this case, you haven’t been paying attention. It involves the death of a child, a suspected drunk driving cop, and a cover up—a definitely recipe for publicity. A Windsor Locks police officers is now facing charges for the results of an accident that happened on the night of October 29.
According to witnesses, the police officer had been enjoying some drinks at a local bar called the Suffield Tavern. He had been drinking there for about six hours and his beverages of choice included beer, whiskey, and tequila.
As he drove home, he was said to have been on the phone with friends. Accident reconstruction suggests the officer was going 70 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone.
Around the time the officer was heading off from the bar, a local fifteen year old was riding his bike home from a friend’s house. The two would collide at the intersection of Spring and West Streets. The child would die at the scene.
What happened from the moment of impact until the officer himself was transported to a hospital is in question. One witness claims they saw the officer stumble from his vehicle, throwing what would later be found to be a beer glass into the grass of a neighboring yard. It’s even been said that he didn’t check on the child and instead called 911 stating he wasn’t sure what had just happened.
One of the first officers on the accident scene would be the suspected officer’s father. The witness is alleged to have told this Sergeant about the discarded beer glass only to have their tip go unexplored. The police Sergeant would later tell state police that he did flash his light into the yard but didn’t see anything. The beer glass would later be found exactly where the witness described.
No one at the scene attempted to give field sobriety tests to the driver. The ambulance transporting him would not arrive at the hospital until 90 minutes after the accident and once it arrived, the officer had already spoken with his attorney who advised him to refuse any blood draws or breath tests.
Unfortunately for the police who responded to the accident, it’s state law when a driver involved in an accident is suspected of being intoxicated that they get a breath or blood sample. No one from the Windsor Locks police asked the officer for such a sample.
The officer has been charged with manslaughter, misconduct with a motor vehicle, negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, and attempting to tamper with physical evidence. The entire case was handed to the state police and there is an ongoing investigation into how the Windsor Locks PD handled the initial investigation and allegations of a cover up.
Neither the officer nor his father, the police Sergeant, has worked since the accident, with the officer on administrative leave and the father using up sick time.
This definitely isn’t the last we’ll hear of this case as reports are suggesting the defense attorney is arguing his client wasn’t intoxicated and that poor visibility played a role in the accident.