UPDATE: For clarification, according to updated postings on Facebook, Tiffany Fitzgerald was "pronounced dead" but is on life support.
In order to give people now familiar with Danbury a better understanding of the recent high speed pursuit by an off-duty police officer, here's video I shot today of the route of the chase from the corner of Main and South Street, to the scene of the crash at 13 Mountainville Road.
According to postings on Facebook, one of the occupants of the vehicle, Tiffany Fitzgerald, passed away Friday night from injuries sustained from the crash.
Perrefort, NEWSTIMES 12.01.16:
Police have launched an internal investigation into an off-duty officer’s high-speed pursuit of a stolen car that led to a spectacular crash Thursday on Mountainville Road.Fitzgerald was 26 years old and a mother.
The driver and passenger of the fleeing car were severely injured. Wreckage from the crash was strewn across a homeowner’s yard and closed the road for several hours.
Danbury Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour cut short an out-of-town training program to visit the accident scene. Ridenhour said State Police would handle the crash investigation but the Danbury Police Department’s internal investigation unit would review the matter as well.
The chase began around 10:30 a.m. Thursday when an off-duty officer, who police have not identified, was working at a construction site on Center Street, police said. The officer spotted a Ford Explorer police said had been reported stolen, and when he approached the vehicle to investigate, the driver sped off. The officer jumped into his own car and gave chase. The pursuit continued for about two miles to Mountainview Road. A witness, who was driving in the opposite direction, said an SUV came at her at a “really high rate of speed,” lost control as it was going around a turn, crashed through a fence and a mailbox, went up a driveway, “went airborne and flipped over many times.”
The witness said she thought the Explorer might run into the house at 13 Mountainville Road. Debris from the Explorer littered the front yard, including a plastic cartop sign from Papa John’s pizza. A manager at the local Papa John’s said none of its employees had reported a car stolen.
Police said the male driver and a female passenger, who were not identified, were ejected from the Explorer. Officials said Thursday said their conditions were “extremely serious.”
The off-duty officer who pursued them was not injured, Ridenhour said.