It is now in the hands of the jury to decide whether a policeman speeding down the Boston Post Road at 2 a.m. three years ago should be held responsible for the violent death of two teenagers who pulled out in front of him as they turned left.
The jury also has to decide whether the fact that the teenage driver, 19-year-old David Servin of Orange, was drunk and probably disobeyed the red blinking light, weighs enough to lower the responsibility of the police officer in the accident.
Jason Anderson, then a Milford cop, was returning from a call in West Haven when his cruiser plowed into the Mazda driven by Servin in the early morning hours of June 13, 2009. The passenger in Servin’s car was Ashley Krakowski, also 19, of Orange.
Anderson is charged with two counts of manslaughter and reckless driving.
Anderson, who has since been fired, has lost his job, his career and his reputation, said his lawyer, Hugh Keefe. But Keefe claims that Anderson’s conduct was not the cause of the accident, at least not the only cause.
“This collision would not have happened if Mr. Servin had stopped,” Keefe said in his closing arguments. He disputes that it was even a rolling stop, as State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor maintains. The defense’s accident reconstructionist determined that Servin was going 37.4 miles per hour at the time of impact.
“What is [Anderson] guilty of? Speeding, reckless driving before the impact. Stretching that to manslaughter is more than a stretch,” Keefe said. “It’s an outrageous assertion.”
Lawlor on the other hand emphasized the extreme speed and distance the defendant covered in a matter of seconds, “then his luck ran out.”
Speed kills, that’s how Lawlor summed it up repeatedly in his closing statements.
Lawlor showed the jury again the dashcam video that captured the scene that night from a fellow police cruiser Anderson had passed on the right as he was returning to Milford at 94 or 95 miles per hour.
Lawlor pointed out that the cruiser accelerated through two yellow blinking lights, before he broadsided Servin and Krakowski.
Obviously Servin’s turning contributed to the crash, Lawlor said. “But the boy turned in front of a speeding bullet.”
“It is the defendant’s callous disregard for the law that caused this crash,” Lawlor said.
Jury deliberation will continue on Monday.