Probe Into Fatal Crash in Oxford is Underway

The Seymour Police Department has opened an internal affairs investigation into the crash that claimed the life of a 15-year-old Oxford boy.


The Seymour Police Department has officially opened an internal affairs investigation into a car crash that claimed the life of 15-year-old Oxford boy Brandon Giordano on March 9. 

The department has 60 days to complete its investigation, which will be led by Lt. Paul Satkowski.

The announcement comes weeks after Eric Ramirez, 20, of 3 Wood Road, Oxford, was charged by state police with misconduct with a motor vehicle, reckless driving, engaging police in pursuit and two driving infractions in relation to the crash. He was driving a 2000 Ford Mustang on the night of March 9 and refused to pull over for Seymour Police Officer Anthony Renaldi, who said he tried to stop the driver because the car had illegal neon lights on its undercarriage, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. 

In that report, Renaldi said he chased the Mustang briefly before breaking off he 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.

Following the crash, police estimated that the car had 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. Ramirez was seriously injured but survived; Giordano was pronounced dead on the scene. 

The Seymour Police Department has said the case will be reviewed "to determine if any department policies or procedures have been violated with regards to the action of the Seymour Police Officer."

SteveW October 03, 2012 at 07:59 PM
First of all, just because you deem a law as "stupid" doesn't make it acceptable to break it nor does it make it acceptable for a police officer to ignore it. However, the real gem in your comment is saying that someone died because of "enforcement of something stupid". You make it sound like lethal force was used to enforce this law. If that was the case, nobody in their right mind would disagree with you. That isn't what happened though.The enforcement, or attempted enforcement in this case, is not what caused the death. What happened when the officer saw a car driving by with illegal lights displayed? Did he open fire on the occupants? Push the car into a ditch? No, he did not. He put on his lights to signal the driver to pull over. This was the only action the officer took as a result of the illegal lights. The entire chain of events that took place after that was set in motion by the driver speeding off. Even then, it isn't as if spike strips, a road block, or ramming were used during the pursuit. Nobody forced the driver to do any of the things he did. At any point, he could have slowed down and pulled his car over but he chose not to. HE stepped on the gas, HE drove too fast, HE went off the road, HE killed Brandon Giordano.
Ken October 03, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I was trying point out the absurdity of your argument. Neon lights are banned for a reason, just because you don't agree with these reasons does not make it a stupid law. No more than I could claim you are stupid for not understanding why they are banned. Everyone has their own opinion about what it a good law and what is a bad. The police do not/should not have this option. Of course we all know they do make personal decisions about these sorts of things, but the officer was well within his rights to attempt to pull over an offending car.
Pearl October 04, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Well I don't like to wear a seatbelt, and noone but me would get hurt if I don't wear it, but that doesnt change the fact that it's against the law and if the police wanted to pull me over for it they have every right as upholding the law is their job. If I choose to run from them then as police I think it is their duty to assume taht there is something more going on than me not wearing a seatbelt as its a minor offense. I think they would have every right to engage in a chase if I run and if I crash then it is solely on my shoulders to take responsibility for it. If the officer in question broke policies while engaged in the crash then he should face the appropriate disciplinary action for breaking such policies, but not be held accountable for the death of a passenger in the vehicle that is fleeing.
Angela October 04, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Just my opinion Pearl, but I as Brandon's mom do hold the officer and Eric accountable. And that will never change. But what any of us think and what the policies state is a huge difference. If he broke policies, then how can he not be deemed accountable. Two major points that lead my opinion, had Eric stopped Brandon would still be here, had the officer decided that this was so not worth the risk and that he could get him another time Brandon could still be here. Although neither of my points can change the out come of what can't be taken back, I'm entitled to my opinions just as you are. A high speed on the back roads of Oxford with young kids in a convertible with the top down which is well known around the valley and could have easily been caught up to at another time... just doesn't cut it for me. If you were feeling what I feel within my heart on a daily basis, maybe you would feel the same way. I place the accountability of what happened that night on Eric and the officer, not blame, accountability. And as Brandon's mother I have every right to feel what I want and no one can argue how I feel. He was my son, and I'm the one forced to continue living with out him, facing insurmountable pain, for ever feeling like I am missing a piece of my heart with out him.
Angela October 04, 2012 at 05:44 PM
*speed chase
Ken October 04, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Angela, I am sure you will take this as a horrible comment, but that is not my intent. Its not about YOU! Why do you want the police held accountable? I assume you mean "new accountability", which is really just a way of assigning fault without negative consequence. What do you want done? A new policy on police pursuits? More training for the officers? Do you want to send the message to other would-be offenders that they should just run, because the cops can't chase them? Sounds like a recipe for more accidents to me. In my opinion, we should be going the opposite way. More training for young drivers, and stiff penalties for young offenders, especially repeat violators. Again, I don't mean to attack you, but let's be honest. You are emotionally damaged, there is no way you couldn't be. I am a parent, but I can't begin to imagine what your going through. But this means you are too close to the incident. You are unable to be objective. This is why you say things like "f you were feeling what I feel within my heart on a daily basis, maybe you would feel the same way".
Pearl October 04, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Angela I am sorry I in no way meant to diminish how you feel about the situation I was just offering my own opinion. I feel that Brandons death was predestined by Erics choice to run from the police, not by the police officers choice to chase a person who was breaking the law, regardless of how insignificant the law he was breaking. And from the reports I have gathered that the car was already doing 91mph before the chase even ensued, but I do have to honestly admit that I am not privy to minute details so my opinion could very possibly be skewed by that
Angela October 04, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Lol, emotionally damaged, thats funny, really funny!! U don't know what message I intend on sending in due time, but one day you will. I don't have to fight for new policies, or more training. The policies already exist and should be followed. If u followed any thing I have ever said on Patch about what has happened, I don't blame, I don't point fingers, I write on these posts saying its all his fault, or its all this ones fault. In all actuality I can't put "fault" on any one. Because when it's your time, it's your time and no one or any thing can stop God's hands. You do not know the details as I know them. Remember, there is a survivor who suffered only minor injuries. I most certianly am NOT unable to be objective. I took the facts that were given to me the morning after the crash and made my call!! And that my friend is how it will always be. 50/50 accountability on both drivers. You should read the New Haven Register article named "Jersey Boys" if u have been paying attention, which obviously u haven't been, u would know how I felt about Eric not pulling over and what message I am advocating for. You asked a silly question... About sending a message for offenders to just run. You need to read up on this and pay closer attention to where I stand.
Angela October 04, 2012 at 09:23 PM
U say this isn't about me, but u clearly called me emotionally damaged. And call me what you will, but in a professional opinion, my therapist would beg to differ with you and I have been told that I amaze people with how well I am handling this whole tragedy. I should b locked in a room never wanting to come out, hoping that this nightmare would end. But I get up each day and carry on knowing that one day I will see my son again in Heaven.
Angela October 04, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Correction: my post should say... I don't write on these posts saying it's all his fault or it's all that ones fault.
Angela October 04, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Pearl, no need to apologize. I am well aware that this is merely peoples opinions, how ever, I appreciate your apology, thank you. In my opinion, I do disagree with a lot of what's being said... Brandon's death was predestined by The good Lord. He controls life and death. Unfortunate that I had to lose my son at such a young age and that his friends and family will spend a life time suffering with out him. And unfortunate that Eric and the officer were chosen to be involved in such a tragedy. I too am entitled to my own opinion and disagree, and every one else is also entitled to disagree with me. These were good boys, drug and alcohol free, why Eric ran, I may never know. But from what I do know, Eric made a huge mistake, and so did the officer. The truth may come out one day, maybe it never will. But I know...
Angela October 04, 2012 at 09:36 PM
With all thats been said, I can spend a life time debating these comments, unfortunatly, I don't have time to waste doing so, life is too short. Brandon died an unfair death. He was robbed of a bright future. We were all robbed of a fine young man with the potential to be a wonderful adult. In the 15 years that he blessed us with his presence, he lived life to the fullest. He lived the longest 15 years of life possible, never taking a second for granted. He brought joy and laughter, he touched so SO many lives with his infectious personality. He will be forever missed by so many. And regardless of what people think, regardless of who is accountable and who isn't... Doesn't matter, he still doesn't get to come back.
Ken October 05, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Unfortunately, thousands of people loose loved ones every day. Most of them do not lock themselves in a room never wanting to come out, so don't think your handling of the situation is remakable or special in some way. And yes, I have to believe you are going through an emotional wringer...I know I wouldn't want to go through it. You keep commenting on these articles asking for accountability...not blame. Other than admiting that they were there, what do you want from the police? It really sounds like you want someone to admit they broke a policy. The result of which would be punishment...termination...jail time....what?
Angela October 05, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I don't comment asking for accountability... Thats the most ludacris thing I ever heard. You're really off. U have no clue. Nor do I think I'm remarkable or special. I merely wanted to get a point across that u have no idea who or what I am. U know nothing of what I am going through and u have no right nor authority to judge or cast any type of opinion as to what my emotional status is. People around me, people who matter, know. And I'm doing remarkably well, thank you for your concern though. God bless Ken. Go comment on some other article and try to poke a rise out of some one else who wishes to lower themselves to your level, cuz u won't get that from me.
Angela October 05, 2012 at 12:33 AM
And Ken, one thing u will never EVER understand... is a mother/child bond. There is no greater loss felt then when a mother loses her child, no greater loss. Again, may God bless you...
ChristineJG October 05, 2012 at 12:36 AM
What if a car full of not good kids was driving through Oxford, potentially had drugs in the car, and could potentially be selling them to our children in Oxford? What if the police didn't try to pull that car over, or stop that car? This is on the driver for making an illegal decision whike operating a motervehicle. The policeman took an oath to do a dangerous job and was just doing his job. I really feel for you and the loss of your son Brandon. The Oxford community lost a great young man that night.
Pearl October 05, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Unfortunately cars full of not good kids drive through Oxford everyday, not because they are coming to Oxford to sell our kids drugs but because they live in Oxford and sell our kids drugs.
Ken October 05, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I am politely trying to say I don't think you understand what accountability is. You obviously feel you do, so educate me, because you're not making a lot of sense.
Ken October 05, 2012 at 12:40 PM
In the words of one of my idol's, "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends". So please stop blessing me, I don't need or want it!
Craig Zac October 05, 2012 at 12:57 PM
ya know... what really gets me is that this whole thing happened because of the fact that the lights under the car are illegal... why? why are they? What i think is worse are those xenon (bluish) headlights kids are putting on the cars... and some cars even come with now... they are way to bright and blind you , and they are especially annoying when the car is behind you, I even see them for sale and it states right on the box.. "For off road use only" but no one seems to care. THAT should be illegal.
Pearl October 05, 2012 at 03:16 PM
My question would have to be was the cop chasing him because of the lights or because he was doing almost 100mph in less than what a quarter mile of the cop following him. From the stories Ive read I get the impression that the cop was chasing more because of the high speed and passing cars which started because the cop started following him due to the lights. Again I may be completely wrong this is just the impression I got.
Ken October 05, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Installing an HID bulb in a reflector made for a halogen bulb is illegal. In a well designed projector style reflector, the cut-off is low and sharp, and glare should be minimal. The problem comes when headlights are not aimed properly, or when the vehicle itself is aimed upward relative to the on coming traffic. I believe in Europe they are moving to make all these lights also have the self leveling feature, so that if your car happens to point a bit upward over a hill or small incline, it still won't shine too high toward oncoming drivers. It's available here as an option on high end cars. As far an the running lights. They are banned for many reasons. Some places its just specific colors, as they don't want people confusing them as emergency vehicles. After that, its really just a distraction. Don't want people turning their head to look at the strange glow and cause an accident. People, like animals, are prone to be distracted by bright or shiny things...it happens. Let me clarify, they are banned from use while driving. Want to show off with your buddies in a parking lot or at a car show, flip em on.....Want to drive around, turn them off!
Craig Zac October 05, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Ken I agree.. and I was going to state earlier that also, alot of the cars withthe bluish lights are driven by kids who may not know how or dont even think they have to adjust the headlamps. But i was in front of an SUV one night going to Southbury and I could swear the driver had on his / her high beams.. nope, it was just thet the headlights were so bright and being in an SUV they were up higher too.. now stock headlamps wouldnt have been a problem. I kept adjusting my rear view trying to "blind" them back...lol on another note, I was thinking of mounting bumper lights on my trunks rear bumper so when the car behind me has the high beams on, i can either flick them or just keep them on for a spell.
Angela October 06, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Accountable: 1. Subject to giving an account: answerable 2. Capable of being accounted: explainable, Synonyms: responsible, liable. Blame: an expression of disapproval or reproach 2. State of being blame worthy; falut, sin 3. Responsibility for something believed to deserve censure Liable: legally obligated; responsible 2. At risk or subject to experiencing or suffering something unpleasant 3. Likely. Often used with reference to an unfavorable outcome. I do not BLAME, they are both ACCOUNTABLE, therefore LIABLE...
Pearl October 06, 2012 at 05:26 PM
So in order to be held "accountable" or responsible, one must first be deemed as blame worthy or believed to deserve censure ie: "blamed", therefore you would certainly have to BLAME them both. However "liable" would require being "legally responsible" which the driver has already been found. So now its wait and see if the officer is found of any LEGAL wrong doing. I may be reading into it wrong. Definition of LIABLE 1 a : obligated according to law or equity : responsible Definition of ACCOUNTABLE 1 : subject to giving an account : answerable Definition of BLAME 1 : to find fault with : censure 2 a : to hold responsible b : to place responsibility for It just seems like there is a degree more of forgiveness in your heart for the driver than for the officer. Please don't get me wrong if I were in your position I would blame the hell out of them both, I have gathered that you are a very spiritual woman and I commend you for that but I would not be able to forgive so quickly or try to not point blame.
Plovebug October 06, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Wow. This is quite the debate. As a mother I hope I never bear the loss of my child and I wish Angela and her entire family strength, hope, and prayers as they will forever feel Brandon's loss for the rest of their lives. Some of my dear friends are police officers and I applaud them every day for putting their life on the line to ensure the safety of those around them. Every night their kids and wives pray them come home to their children. It is a very difficult think to say if the police officer is at fault here (in my opinion). As a police officer you are held accountable to serve the law, have strong decision making, do what is right even when no one is looking, and ensure the safety of all those in the community. If a car was driving by me doing 91 MPH or had bright neon lights driving 91 MPH I would call the police myself as I would be afraid if that car doing 91MPH hit me accompanied by my 2 year old son. Why should someone elses life be jeopardized do to someone else's wreck less driving? Why did Brandon die and not the person behind the wheel? Brandon was a passenger with no control.
Plovebug October 06, 2012 at 06:40 PM
That police office was advocating for those passengers in the car who had no control over how fast the driver decided to go.... the police officer was advocating for all other Oxford residents who could have gotten killed. Its a really sad sad story and I hope justice is served... but I do not agree with the police officer being at fault. Police Officers to an oath to protect and serve the community.... and this officer was doing just that. RIP Brandon.
Angela October 07, 2012 at 01:12 AM
If the police officer was doing 91 miles an hour also, then what? And as I have previously stated in past comments, I do not just forgive Eric, I forgive the officer as well, although I have not heard one word from him. Holding anger and unforgiveness is not what is going to help me in the long run.
Angela October 07, 2012 at 07:33 AM
The lights on that car were not bright neon lights. They were undercarriage lights that lite up pink, blue, purple, green, etc. Hardly blinding. But still illegal for use on the road.
Angela October 07, 2012 at 07:34 AM
No one should have passed, not Brandon, and not the driver either.


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