The survivor of a fatal Vauxhall Street car accident has been charged with manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Jonathan Hayer, 22, of 158 Connecticut Ave. was arrested this morning on two counts of second-degree manslaughter with a vehicle and one count of driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol of drugs. His bond was set at $100,000 and reduced to $99,000 cash or surety after his initial appearance in the .
Hayer's 1999 BMW 528i sedan outside the early in the morning on June 19 as he was heading eastbound on Vauxhall Street. Passengers Emiliano "Pookie" Perez, 22, and Orlando "Capo" Acosta, 21, died of injuries sustained in the accident. Hayer was also injured but released soon after the accident.
According to an affidavit by Detective Franklin Jarvis of the , Hayer said in an interview at the on the day of the accident that he drank two beers and a shot of rum at a party on Ashcraft Road prior to the accident, but did not feel drunk. Hayer and other witnesses said he and two others left the party around 11:45 p.m. on June 18 to pick up Acosta and Perez, with both men riding in Hayer's car. Hayer said Perez yanked the steering wheel after an animal ran in front of the vehicle, and that he pulled it back. He said he hit the brakes but the car did not stop.
Police received Hayer's blood serum level from the hospital and calculated that he had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.112 per 100 milliliters, above the legal state limit of .08. An accident reconstruction by Officer David Ferland determined that Hayer lost control of the vehicle near the intersection with Summit Avenue, at the top of a hill on Vauxhall Street, left the roadway, and went airborne at the top of a grass embankment before colliding with the tree. Ferland concluded that the vehicle was traveling at 66 miles per hour and lost lateral stability after the evasive maneuver.
One friend who had been following Hayer said Acosta got out of the car at one point following the accident and said he was OK. Police responding to the crash found Hayer returning to the scene after going to to get cups of water for Acosta and Perez.
The two men were taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, where Acosta died at 1:18 a.m. on June 19. Perez died later that morning after being taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Autopsies by the Chief Medical Examiner's Office determined that both men died of multiple blunt traumatic injuries sustained in the accident.
Officer Joe Buzzelli performed a series of sobriety tests on Hayer at the scene. According to the report, Hayer "lacked smooth pursuit in each eye" during a horizontal gaze nystagmus test and also failed to walk smoothly during a "walk and turn" test. Hayer was hospitalized after complaining of chest pains after Buzzelli explained the "one leg stand" test to him.
Hayer has no criminal record in Connecticut, according to the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. Judge Kevin McMahon set conditions at Hayer's initial appearance, saying that he may work and attend doctor's appointments if he makes bond, but must also forfeit his passport and be subject to electronic monitoring.