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Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2011
Griswald Fatal Crash Investigation Complete

On 12/07/10 shortly after 4:38 p.m. the vehicle involved in this single car crash was traveling South on Rt. 201 in the town of Griswold. Veh. 1 failed to negotiate a slight elevated curve in the roadway and lost control, striking a tree head-on. At the time of the collision there were three fatalities, one individual was transported to the William Backus hospital, succumbing to his injuries, and the last occupant sustained serious injury.

Based upon the State Police accident investigation with assistance of the State Police C.A.R.S. Unit, it is concluded that Operator 1, who held a valid State Of Connecticut Learner's Permit, was operating the vehicle at a speed greater than the posted limit and traveled over the slight elevated portion of the highway at such a speed that caused the suspension to unload. Once the suspension unloaded, Operator 1 lost control of Veh. 1. The vehicle continued south on Rt. 201, causing the vehicle to slide sideways and strike a set of trees located just off the Southbound shoulder of the road. The physical evidence determined that upon impact with the trees the vehicle upended, causing the vehicle's roof to strike the same set of trees that were struck at initial impact.  As a result of the impact, all occupants sustained severe blunt force trauma resulting in four deaths and one survivor who sustained severe physical injury.

Based upon the investigation of the collision scene, the investigation of the State Police C.A.R.S. Unit, the analysis of all of the physical evidence, and statements taken throughout the investigation, State Police investigators determined that operator 1 was found at fault for this collision, in violation of the following Connecticut General Statutes:

14-218(a) - Speed to Fast for Conditions: Any person who operates a motor vehicle upon any public highways of the state which a speed limit has been established, or upon any school property, at a rate of speed greater than is reasonable, having regard to the width, traffic and use of highway, road or parking area, the intersection of streets and weather conditions.

14-236 - Multiple-lane highways: When any highway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, (1) a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.

14-222a - Negligent Homicide with a Motor Vehicle: Any person who, in consequence of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, causes the death of another person.(3 counts)

14-36c,2 - Learner's Permit: The learner's permit shall entitle the holder to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways provided such holder is under the instruction of, and accompanied by a person who holds an instructor's license (14-73) or a person twenty years of age who has been licensed to operate, for at least four years preceeding the instruction, a motor vehicle of the same class as the motor vehicle being operated and who has not had his or her motor vehicle operator's license suspended by the commisioner during the four year period preceding the instruction

No enforcement action will be taken due to the fact that the Operator, John Clapper, was pronounced deceased.

CASE STATUS: Closed. 

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Lt. J. Paul Vance