Defense Expert Reviewing Investigation Of Fatal Oxford Crash
by Ethan Fry | Jan 17, 2013 6:33 pm
A defense expert is reviewing evidence compiled against an Oxford man in connection with a crash that killed his best friend last year.
Eric Ramirez was behind the wheel of his 2000 Ford Mustang last March when police said he failed to pull over for a Seymour police officer who was trying to stop him, then sped up Route 67 into Oxford, eventually losing control of his car.
The vehicle careened off the road in the area of Old State Road 67, hit a grassy embankment and launched nearly 60 feet through the air before hitting the side of the Precision Glass and Mirror building.
Brandon Giordano, a 15-year-old backseat passenger, was killed in the accident.
Both Ramirez and another passenger, Dion Major, 16, were treated at Waterbury Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Ramirez faces charges of misconduct with a motor vehicle, a D felony, reckless driving, engaging police in pursuit, and two equipment violations. He is out on a $10,000 bond.
At Superior Court in Derby Thursday Ramirez’s lawyer, Tara Knight, asked Judge Karen Sequino to continue the case about 45 days so an expert she hired could review the voluminous discovery materials given to her by prosecutors.
Judge Sequino granted Knight’s request, continuing the case to March 8.
Knight said outside the courtroom that she had only given the documents to her expert, an unnamed accident reconstructionist, last week.
“They gave me a binder full of CDs, documents, reports, and accident reconstruction reports,” she said. “I need an expert to review it to see if there’s anything in there that might be helpful.”
“I’m not expecting to find any magic bullet,” Knight said. “I just want to do my due diligence to make sure the investigation was done properly and competently.”
Ramirez was first charged in the case Sept. 11, after a police probe that lasted more than six months.
According to an affidavit written by investigators seeking to arrest Ramirez, he was returning to Oxford from New Haven with Giordano and Dion just before midnight March 10.
On the way, a Seymour police officer saw that Ramirez had LED lights attached under his car.
The officer, Anthony Renaldi, tried to pull the vehicle over, but Ramirez sped off up Route 67 at high speed, according to the affidavit.
State police used surveillance footage from the Mobil gas station on Route 67 to estimate Ramirez’s car was going 91 mph as it sped past.
Renaldi eventually broke off the pursuit because it was too dangerous, but soon met a state trooper who had also seen the speeding car. A few minutes later, the two located Ramirez’s Mustang laying upside down with Ramirez and his two passengers pinned inside.
State police estimated the car was going 61 mph when it hit the grassy embankment and was launched into the air.
Ramirez, through his lawyer, and expressed sadness over his friend’s death.
A message was left Thursday with the lawyer representing Giordano’s family.
Knight said no civil lawsuit has been filed against Ramirez in the case.