Hamden man high on PCP at time of deadly crash, police say - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hamden man high on PCP at time of deadly crash, police say

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(MGN photo) (MGN photo)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A Hamden man behind the wheel during a high speed deadly crash in New Haven was high on PCP, according to police.

Investigators said James J. Dennis, 37, was driving a 2005 Mercedes Benz C240 on Sept. 18 when the vehicle crashed into a Honda CR-V. on Legion Avenue.

He was arrested on Tuesday.

Manuel Portillo, also known as Jose Umberto Bardales Partillo, was killed. Police said he was a passenger in the Mercedes.

Three people in the CR-V sustained serious injuries.

Police said Dennis was driving northbound on Howard Avenue at a high rate of speed.

They said he didn't stop at red lights at three intersections.

He struck the Honda at the intersection with Legion Avenue. Police said he was going over 60 mph beforehand, which is 36 mph over the posted speed limit.

Investigators said Dennis caused the crash by being under the influence of PCP.

He was charged with first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, three counts of second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, misconduct with a motor vehicle, driving under the influence and driving under suspension.

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