Details of Fatal Car Accident Spelled Out in Affidavit

Three Oxford teens went out for Chinese food; only two made it back.


OXFORD -- A passenger involved in a car accident that killed 15-year-old Brandon Giordano of Oxford says he told the driver to slow down and stop for a Seymour police officer who chased them on the night of March 9.

But Eric Ramirez didn’t stop. He didn’t slow down. He didn’t respond at all.

Instead, he continued to accelerate and “passed cars driving in the same direction on the wrong side of the road and had to swerve back into the lane to avoid hitting cars head on,” 16-year-old Dion Major told police. “I would estimate Eric was driving between 70-80 mph.”

In fact, police estimate that Ramirez’s 2000 Ford Mustang convertible reached 91 mph at one point during the chase; it eventually struck an embankment on a turn on Old State Road No. 67 at a rate of 61 mph, twice the speed limit in that area. The car, carrying three teens, flew some 59 feet and hit a building head on before landing upside down, trapping all three teens in the car and killing Giordano, the backseat passenger, on impact.

The above account comes from an arrest warrant affidavit unveiled for the first time Monday at Derby Superior Court. That is where Ramirez, now 20, appeared before a judge for the first time after being charged last month with misconduct with a motor vehicle, reckless driving, engaging police in pursuit and two driving infractions.

A sullen looking Ramirez, accompanied by his parents and another family member, did not say a word in court. He also declined to speak with members of the media.

“He is devastated by this tragedy,” said his attorney, Tara Knight, who described Giordano as a “very close friend of his.”

Ramirez, of 3 Wood Road, did not enter a plea and his case was continued to Oct. 25. Knight said the long continuance stems from the fact that there are several documents in the file that need to be reviewed. She would not comment further.

If convicted of misconduct with a motor vehicle, a Class D felony, Ramirez, who had been through two driver retraining courses prior to the accident, could face between one and five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.


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No Alcohol or Drugs Involved

NOTE: The following information comes from the six-page affidavit (the full document is attached as a PDF to this article):

During the accident, Ramirez suffered head, neck and other injuries for which he was hospitalized. He later told investigators in a written statement that he had no recollection of the accident or his run-in with police. 

Major told investigators that none of the three had drunk any alcohol during on the night of March 9; toxicology reports of Ramirez’s blood test results would later reveal that he indeed did not have any alcohol or drugs in his system.

Major said the three went to a favorite Chinese restaurant and then headed to the New Haven Yacht Club to eat. Ramirez headed back toward Oxford before a Seymour police officer tried to pull him over for illegal blue LED lights that he had attached to the undercarriage of his car.

Ramirez did not stop for the officer and, instead, accelerated to avoid him. He turned off all lights on his car in an apparent attempt to be discreet and avoid the officer.

Vehicle was “Absolutely Flying”

The affidavit quotes witness Steven Landi, the general manager at The Golf Club at Oxford Greens, who said he saw the Mustang pass him as he was on his to make the nightly business deposit at a local bank.

“He flashed his headlights to advise the other driver his headlights were off,” the affidavit states about Landi’s actions that night. “The vehicle continued traveling toward him without its headlights on, and as it got closer, he realized the vehicle was absolutely flying. The vehicle was kind of riding the yellow center line, so he moved right. Mr. Landi stated he noticed flashing lights further back, and he realized they were police lights.”

The Seymour officer who engaged in the pursuit, Anthony Renaldi, stated in the report that he tried to pull the car over because of the lights. He said he chased the Mustang briefly before stopping the pursuit due to the high rate of speed in which Ramirez was driving. Renaldi said he later came in contact with a state police officer near the Oxford-Seymour line and explained the situation. Renaldi and the trooper drove off to look for the vehicle and quickly came upon it laying upside down in front of a building at 43 Old State Road No. 67.

All three teens in the car were pinned underneath the vehicle, according to the affidavit. Emergency crews extricated all three and brought Major and Ramirez to local hospitals. At 12:13 a.m. on March 10, Brandon Giordano was pronounced dead on the scene by a paramedic. 

Someone September 24, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Poor choices lead the bad outcomes... Teach your children to choose good friendsm
Jennifer Lupone September 25, 2012 at 01:18 AM
My prayers n thoughts go out to Brandons mom angela! Can't say I really know what ur going thru but I feel ur pain! Luv u girl XO 
Vanessa Severino September 25, 2012 at 03:04 AM
My prayers go out to all the families involved in this incident, I am sure its a devastating situation for everyone directly or indirectly involved in this incident, a personal hell for some, and hopefully the ones who need to be held accountable will, so that teenagers all around will be too afraid to live life on the edge, and that there are more classes offered in driving school, and police academy, to prepare people on the road, how to respond in crisis situations.
Vanessa Severino September 25, 2012 at 03:17 AM
I pray that if there is any wrongdoing on behalf of the officer involved in the incident, that he realizes it, and takes responsibility for the part that he played, however, if he in good faith was just trying to stop a fatal crash, and the responsibility is in the hands of the driver and the driver alone, that God will have his way in this situation, and the sentence would be one, not to bring revenge, but to REHABILITATE, and HELP ERIC learn from this situation, and to help drivers everywhere, understand, that there are conseqences to reckless driving, and driving is a PRIVELAGE not a RIGHT, and when we drive, we place the life of OTHERS in our hands, and if we arent in a condition to accept the rules of the road, then maybe we should think about other methods of transportation. God bless
Angela September 25, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Thank you Jen
Angela September 25, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Thank you for your prayers Venessa
Ken September 25, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Would you have us give him a hug and say "you'll never do that again will you?" I've read several articles about the accident now. I don't know any of the people involved or their families. But I find it hard to keep holding my tongue. No one is out for revenge, simply punishment under current law. This was a young man with a history of traffic violations. It wasn't just one bad decision, it was many bad decisions that lead up to this point. The unfortunate thing here is that no one was willing or able to stop him before someone got hurt... Trying to pass the blame on to the police is ridiculous and shameful. If you want to do that, a better target would be his parents. Yes, he was an "adult" by age at the time of the accident, but he had not been an adult for very long, clearly his parents didn't do a very good job of teaching him to be a man. There I've taken some of the blame off his shoulders...did that help anyone feel better? NO! So let's stop trying to blame others for his decisions!
Will Wilkin September 25, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I agree Ken the police are in no way to blame for Mr. Ramirez's reckless driving. But I disagree with blaming his parents. Perhaps you only did so as a thought experiment to prove the absurdity of it. Exactly.
Craig Zac September 25, 2012 at 02:23 PM
cant blame the cops, they broke off the chase due to the high speeds. You cam only blame the driver, him alone caused the crash, not the cops, his parents, the two passengers in the car. Just the driver. Why he tried to get away we may never know but it was a really bad choice but a choice was made. And the result was all too tragic.
Angela September 25, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I blame no one. All parties involved forgiven. And this is still an open investigation. There is still a very very long way to go.
kathy johnson September 25, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I have always told my sons that your life is not your own because you are deeply loved and the consequences of your actions will break your mother's heart. I know of this first hand. We should all have some compassion for both mothers. You never know what your child will do no matter how well you think you raised them. May Brandon's memory be eternal and may both families in time find some peace. To Brandon's mother I know you may never truly accept the outcome of this unspeakable tragedy. I know sometimes people can not resist weighing in on what they think. We should all have some compassion for these mothers and their family's I will just offer my heartfelt sympathy.That is all.
Angela September 25, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Thank you Kathy
Ken September 25, 2012 at 04:20 PM
In order for you to say you have forgiven, you first must think they need forgiving....
kathy johnson September 25, 2012 at 06:09 PM
your welcome
Vanessa Severino September 26, 2012 at 01:28 AM
No one knows what the best punishment or payment is 4 this crime. Everybody is different. What effectively works for one, may not effectively be the best answer for someone else. Some people need years in prison, 2 wake up & realize the error of their ways, some people need mercy, & rehabilitation, & therapy, 2 help them learn from this horrific experience.
Vanessa Severino September 26, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Let Gods will be done for Eric
Vanessa Severino September 26, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Whether Eric serves years in prison, or get s out in a year, he will never ever be SCOTT free, this will stay with him the REST of his life, & change him Forever However, his life has been spared, according 2 Gods provision, and only GOD knows His plan for Eric's life, and whats best for Eric, so we will not speculate what we feel is best for him, and let God be God.
Vanessa Severino September 26, 2012 at 01:36 AM
at first i was like, lock him up 4 manslaughter 4 a long long time, but then i thought of Eric's mother, and Eric, and i know that they too, are going through agony, maybe not the agony that Angela & the victims family is going through, no way near it, but they still are going through a hell of their own, so lets be good citizens, and give the family the space, to go through this without any horrible media comments, and more stress than they already have to deal with, thats what GOD i believe would have us do.. that is very hard, to bite our tongues, and not let our emotions get away with us, especially when this hits home personally, but i believe this is what GOD would have us do, we ought to pray that GODs will be done, that all the facts and truth of this case that is hidden be brought to the light, and where justice needs to be served so be it, and where mercy needs to be given, so be it, for God displines us to teach us something always, never just to make us pay, but so we can grow from the correction, but there will be displine and accountability, for the LORD displines those HE loves, a good father displines HIS child, and protects HIS child. I hope that if Eric gets his license back someday, he will make wiser choices, and when he makes mistakes and gets caught, he will accept responsibility,
Angel September 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I'm not even going to say all the things I want to say but for the people bashing Eric and saying how you've read all the articles...that's just it...you've READ THE ARTICLES...you know nothing truly. Yes Eric should have stopped his vehicle, but if you haven't noticed from "reading all the articles" there are several different stories. How did it go from Eric passed one car on 67 to Eric passed cars driving in the same direction on the wrong side of the road and had to swerve back into the lane to avoid hitting cars head on, why wasn't the chase called in by the officer until he found the car? There are so many questions we can ask and never find true answers to. My point is if you are going to comment on something, comment wisely because truly you have no clue what you are talking about. You are getting your information from all these different articles that are constantly switching the stories around.
Angel September 26, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I have to also say that I appreciate your point of view Vanessa. I could not agree more with everything you have said.
Ken September 26, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I know nothing?...he has a history of traffic violations, he ran from the police, and in the process, wrecked his car killing a passenger. There is nothing more I need to know. What really makes me angry, is that he could have killed me or my children or someone I know and love. I think the fact that he isn't being charged with manslaughter reflects the fact that he is remorseful. Probably wouldn't be the case if politicians and public attorney's didn't have to be, well, political....


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