Connecticut – A vehicular accident involving a motorcycle and a car occurred back in September this year in New Haven, Connecticut. The incident has a family grieving the loss of a 28-year-old James Grant, who passed away from injuries sustained in the crash, according to the New Haven Independent.
While police have been fervently investigating the circumstances, the family of the deceased is now blaming authorities for not taking swift enough action against whom they believe to be responsible for Grant’s death. However, some preliminary evidence is starting to reveal that Grant may have been responsible for his own fate that September day.
Earlier this week, on the front steps of the police headquarters at 1 Union Ave, half a dozen other close relatives of the late James Grant assembled along with Ashley Johnson, Michael Grant, and Lakeya Grant.
Grant’s family called on the authorities to provide further information of their inquiry and to charge the suspect who was involved with the crash for not only of moving violations, but also of the death of their loved one. Police leadership vowed to keep in constant contact with the family; stating that if police feel assured they can secure a conviction, the more severe charges will be filed.
Still, the details provided by police on the investigation thus far aren’t doing well by the family, according to Ashley Johnson:
“It seemed like things got kind of quiet. We’re just trying to get justice and get questions answered about my brother’s accident. At the end of the day, someone is responsible. He did not deserve to have his life taken so shortly. The New Haven Police Department, they have done a poor job of keeping us updated and informed on my brother’s case.”
According to the family of Grant, only after the defendant made bond did the family hear that the Acura’s 42-year-old driver was charged only with driving a motor vehicle without a license and operating a motor vehicle illegally under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Yet, despite the family’s claim of a lack of communication, it seems to be at odds with what police have claimed transpired communication-wise.
After the press conference, Assistant Chief Renee Dominguez and Lieutenant Rose Dell, who works on the accident reconstruction team, told reporters that during the investigation the police tried to share as much information as possible with the Grant family.
Dominguez stated: “There has been communication through the whole process,” citing that police had been on contact with the family as recent as the day prior to the Wednesday press gathering.
Dominguez continued by stating:
“I think some things that they’re wishing to be told are unable to be told yet.”
In this case, the responding officers had reason to believe that the suspect might have been intoxicated, and so arrested and charged him with the two moving violations. That suspect has subsequently bonded out of custody for those charges.
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Lieutenant Rose Dell went on to explain why these investigations have to be navigated tactfully:
“We have to take many steps because ultimately we’re looking not just for an arrest. We want to have a very thorough and accurate investigation. We work hand-in-hand with the prosecutor. And that investigation is active.”
The family is assuming police have everything they need for an open and shut case of vehicular homicide: an intoxicated driver, an accident involving a motorcycle and a car, and a dead motorcyclist.
But the details just haven’t come to light yet, leaving a number of questions unanswered. Maybe police didn’t charge the driver with a murder-related charge because there’s no evidence yet suggesting it’s the driver’s fault. Some reports have said Grant’s reckless riding caused his death.
On September 7, the day of the accident, Officer Cari made contact with the Acura’s driver, who said as he was driving just past the Sylvan intersection, Grant tried to go around his car, and struck the vehicle’s passenger side.
The driver said he “never saw nor heard the motorcycle until it had impacted the passenger side of his vehicle.”
It turns out that the driver of the Acura wasn’t the only one to have described the incident like that.
Press conference outside police headquarters at 1 Union Ave.
Posted by New Haven Independent on Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Officer Garcia interviewed a neighbor who said she witnessed the accident as well. She stated she saw Grant on his motorcycle attempt to pass the Acura on the right-hand side. During that attempted pass, Grant struck the side of the driver’s car according to the witness.
Cari wrote that he and Garcia wound up arresting the driver and charged him with driving under the influence and driving without a license, mainly because of his performance during a field sobriety test.
According to one of the officer’s incident reports, the driver’s eyes were “glassy, glazed, and slightly red.” According to the driver, he hadn’t had a drop to drink that day, and surprisingly he registered a blood alcohol content of 0.000 when tested. The driver also submitted a urine test where those results have not yet been released or tested.
The arresting officers claimed the driver “did not count his steps out loud as instructed” and that he lacked a smooth pursuit in his footing while also not turning correctly during a walk-and-turn portion of a field sobriety test.
While those do qualify as reasons to arrest for a suspect DUI, it is hardly concrete of anything, especially if the urine test comes back as free of any narcotic.
Up to this point, it sounds like the police have done great work communicating with the family and not making hasty charges in the process of the investigation. The family in this case is simply out of line with their baseless accusations against police investigative processes and their demands for pitchfork styled justice to be doled out. They should perhaps focus on the possibility that Grant passed away from thoughtless driving.
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