Man, 21, allegedly speeding, drunk when he crashed into Farmington grad Luke Roux’s car – Hartford Courant

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Jacob Coffey was driving home from a country concert at nearly double the speed limit when he allegedly drove his Jeep through a red light and hit a car driven by Luke Roux, a recent Farmington High School graduate who died in the crash, according to an arrest warrant obtained Tuesday by the Hartford Courant.

Coffey, who was arraigned in Hartford Superior Court on Tuesday, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 when he was treated at a hospital after the crash on the night of June 25, according to blood samples recovered at the Hartford Hospital, evaluated by forensic experts and reviewed by police, records show. In Connecticut, you are considered legally intoxicated if you have a blood alcohol level of 0.8 or higher, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The 21-year-old Farmington resident was arrested by Farmington police last week on charges of first-degree manslaughter, operating a motor vehicle under the influence, reckless driving, running a red light and speeding. 60mph The arrest warrant detailed the alcohol-related crash that killed Roux, 17, while returning home from a summer baseball game.

Farmington Detective Jason Hughes, who wrote the 12-page affidavit, wrote that investigators found empty cans of Bud Light and Busch Light beer and two empty 50-milliliter bottles of Fireball whiskey in the front passenger floor of the Jeep Coffey, along with a vacuum. beer can in the driver’s side door pocket and another empty Bud Light can and two more Fireball bottles of the same size in the rear cargo area of ​​the Jeep.

Coffey told police after the crash that he had consumed “a beer and a half” that night. He later told paramedics in an ambulance that he had had four beers, according to the warrant affidavit.

At Hartford Hospital that night, Coffey told a social worker that he had been drinking at a country concert “but he didn’t feel like he drank ‘too much,'” and recalled feeling sick, prompting him to quit the Xfinity Theater. in Hartford before the concert ended, the warrant affidavit said.

A social worker at the hospital reported that Coffey said “the whole accident is a blur,” according to the warrant.

Around 8:30 p.m., Coffey was driving his Jeep Cherokee at 82 mph in the five seconds before the crash in an area of ​​Colt Highway with a clearly posted speed limit of 45 mph, investigators told the affidavit of the order.

The light he drove through had been red for 18 seconds when he allegedly sped through it, according to a police analysis of traffic patterns at Birdseye Road and Colt Highway.

Roux was two miles from home and two months away from starting her adult life at the University of Connecticut when the Volkswagen Golf she was driving was hit. He was driving between 14 and 28 mph (well below the speed limit) in the seconds before the crash, according to the warrant affidavit.

Roux had graduated from Farmington High School a month earlier and “was very optimistic about what was coming next,” as he planned to join his two older brothers, Nathan and Edison Roux, at UConn in Storrs in the fall, according to his family.

On the night of the accident, Roux’s team had won its baseball game in five innings, and Roux was “ecstatic” about the victory, a teammate told his family. He was headed to his parents’ house in the close-knit neighborhood where he had grown up, presumably for his typical post-game snack of chocolate milk, when his car was hit.

He was rushed to the University of Connecticut Health Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:21 p.m., according to the warrant affidavit. An autopsy found she died of blunt force trauma to the head, torso and lower left extremity, authorities said.

At the same time, police were interviewing Coffey, 21, after he was taken to Hartford Hospital.

According to the warrant, Coffey told Farmington Police Officer Richard Bianchi, who arrived on the scene within 20 seconds of the crash and tried to save Roux’s life, that he was not injured but “just I wanted to go home.”

He also told Bianchi that he drank between two and three Michelob Ultra beers at the concert and did not recall seeing another vehicle at the time of the crash, according to the warrant affidavit. He told Bianchi he was driving about 40 mph and ran a yellow light, but “did not recall running a red light,” the warrant said.

Bianchi was patrolling the Colt Highway area from a parking lot near Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe at 345 Colt Highway that night when he saw Roux’s Volkswagen go by. A few seconds later, he heard a loud thump. He immediately drove to the intersection where he encountered a serious motor vehicle accident, according to the warrant.

Video footage from Nardelli’s security camera showed the Jeep entering the intersection driving westbound, ignoring the red light and colliding with Roux’s car, according to the warrant. At the scene, and at his home later that night, police also interviewed a witness who had been stopped at a red light about two seconds before the crash and swerved to the right to avoid being hit by the Jeep of Coffey as he drove through the intersection.

Police executed search warrants for Coffey’s Jeep, including one for data showing the vehicle’s speed and acceleration at the time of the crash, along with hospital records of his blood samples taken that night which were delivered to a state laboratory in Meriden in early July. , according to the order.

Medical records indicate he was “heavily intoxicated” at the time of the crash, police said in the warrant.

Charles Grasso, a crash data liaison employed by the UConn Transportation and Safety Research Center and a retired Enfield police sergeant with extensive experience investigating motor vehicle crashes, examined the Jeep data. He determined that in the five seconds before the collision, Coffey was driving between 64 mph and 82 mph, 19 mph and 37 mph over the posted speed limit, the warrant said. He didn’t brake until 0.7 seconds before colliding with Roux, police said in the warrant.

Hughes wrote in the warrant that, based on an extensive investigation, Coffey was “recklessly operating a motor vehicle westbound on Colt Highway” and sped through a running, solid red light. correctly at the time of the accident.

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Coffey’s first-degree manslaughter charge is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both, according to state law.

A person can be found guilty of first-degree manslaughter in Connecticut when they are found to have caused serious injury or death to another person while showing “gross indifference to human life” by engaging in reckless conduct that creates a serious risk of death. to another person, according to the Connecticut General Assembly Office of Legislative Research.

A person’s actions are considered reckless under the law when they are aware and consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk, according to state law.

Coffey is free on $250,000 bond, according to court officials. He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 20 in Hartford, according to court records.

Roux’s family, which has spoken out about their son’s death, did not attend Tuesday’s arraignment, according to a family spokesman.

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