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Conn. Chief Wants To Fire Officer In Fatal Crash With Teens

Connecticut Post via YellowBrix

December 14, 2009

Although the teens’ drinking may intensify the tragedy, it doesn’t excuse reckless behavior on Anderson’s part, he said.

“At the end of the day, the job of police officers is to be keeping an eye out for drunk drivers, not ramming into them at 95 miles per hour for no reason,” Meyer said. “It’s the police officer, above all, that we expect to be complying with the law, not engaging in joy-riding down public highways.”

Although civil law often takes into account “contributory negligence,” criminal law doesn’t typically allow that defense in cases such as this — just like an unlocked bank doesn’t justify theft, he said.

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Lawyers representing the families of Krakowski and Servin, John Wynne and Bart Halloran, respectively, did not return calls requesting comment.

The families have filed notice of their intent to sue Milford and its Police Department.

Anderson and Officer Richard Pisani were heading back to Milford from a mutual-aid call in West Haven on the night of the accident. A video camera installed in Pisani’s cruiser recorded both officers speeding far above the posted limit of 40 mph. Pisani accelerated up to 72 mph and was driving at about 65 when Anderson barreled by him on the right, shortly before crashing into the teens.

The Police Commission agenda Monday states the board will also consider “the performance of” Pisani, indicating that he faces departmental charges and discipline, but not termination.

Internal investigations into the conduct of both officers before the crash indicated Pisani, a probationary officer, had not played a role in the crash.

Mello declined to comment until after Monday’s meeting.

Anderson’s blood-alcohol content was also tested after the crash, showing he had no alcohol in his system.

State police reported that the power control module from the police vehicle indicated that for the nearly nine seconds leading up to the crash, Anderson was pushing the accelerator pedal at 100 percent. Then, six-tenths of a second before impact, he slowed down slightly and hit his brakes.

The Police Commission will meet at 7 p.m. in police headquarters, 430 Boston Post Road.

Video Coverage of the Incident >>>

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