Police have arrested a 27-year-old man “with a lengthy criminal record” on manslaughter charges for racing his girlfriend’s Hyundai Sonata on Whalley Avenue at 98 miles per hour while on PCP, at which point the car flew 17 feet into the air and smashed into the steel canopy of an Amity Road gas station, killing his two passengers.
Police made the arrest Monday. They issued a release about it Tuesday.
The double-fatal crash occurred on June 20 at 5:05 a.m. It killed passengers Billy Ray Yancey, Jr., and Derand Lane.
According to the police press release, the driver—whose 14 previous convictions included four for driving with a suspended license and another for reckless driving—had been at a fundraiser at a Hamden bar for Yancey’s deceased girlfriend prior to the crash, and he had smoked PCP, something he “regularly” did with the two passengers.
A CT Transit bus driver told police the Hyundai had passed him at 80 miles per hour on Whalley Avenue moments before the crash, according to police; lab tests showed PCP in the driver’s body.
Police said the driver made the following comments to an officer while in an ambulance after the crash:
“Whose car did I mess?”
“Did I get in a car accident?”
“Am I going to jail?”
“Are the police here?”
Based on a warrant prepared by Sgt. Rose Dell, police charged the driver with two first-degree manslaughter counts, one count of second-degree manslaughter, “misconduct with a motor vehicle,” and driving recklessly, under the influence of drugs, with a suspended license. He is behind bars on $250,000 bond.