SEYMOUR -- The driver involved in a motor vehicle crash that claimed the life of a 19-year-old Naugatuck resident last month in Seymour was drunk and speeding at the time of the accident, police say.
Manuel Esteves, 20, of 33 Mead Farm Road, Seymour, was charged by the Seymour Police Department Thursday with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless driving and driving while intoxicated.
Esteves was the driver of a vehicle that crashed on South Main Street in Seymour in the early morning hours of Oct. 31 and killed his friend and front seat passenger, Korey Jordan, a longtime lower Valley resident who had recently moved to Naugatuck.
The Seymour Police Department said Esteves had a blood alcohol level of about .16 at the time of the accident; in Connecticut, the legal limit for someone under 21 is .02 and for someone 21 or older is .08
Seymour police say their accident re-constructionists have “worked tirelessly with the hope to bring a quick resolution so the family can begin the healing process knowing justice will be served for this senseless tragedy, which was preventable.”
Esteves posted a $50,000 bond and will appear at Derby Superior Court on Dec. 13, according to police. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
The release gives the following details about the accident:
According to witnesses, Esteves passed another vehicle at a high rate of speed on South Main Street in the area prior to Balkos Service Station. As the vehicle approached the intersection of Pearl Street, Esteves’ vehicle failed to negotiate a curvature in the roadway and struck a utility pole head on. The vehicle sustained heavy damage. Esteves received serious but non-life threatening injuries, which he continues to recuperate from.
Jordan was found to be trapped in the front seat. He was unconscious and had to be extricated by Seymour Fire Department personnel. Jordan was treated on scene by Seymour Ambulance personnel and later died at Waterbury Hospital.
Two rear-seat passengers, Joseph Staffier, 20, of Hawkins Street, Derby, and a 17-year-old male juvenile were also injured. Both continue to recuperate.
Investigating officers smelled an odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from Esteves while at the scene.
Patrol Sgt. David Parratt was the lead investigator. He was assisted by Patrol Officer Michael Santanelli. Both are accident reconstruction specialists for the Seymour PD, which said in a statement that Parratt and Santanelli "are to be commended for being able to secure an arrest warrant in a relatively short period of time with an accident of this magnitude."