4-year-old Hamden boy killed in Branford stolen car crash

Brandon Little and Tyler Carey (Photos provided by East Haven police)

BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A four-year-old boy was killed in a crash Sunday night in Branford. Police say Jai’rus Little of Hamden was in the front seat of the car when it hit another car. Police say the car had been leading police on a chase before the crash happened.

Police say the incident started around 6:30 p.m., when East Haven officers tried to pull over a 2016 Toyota Corolla with no tail lights. Police say the driver, later identified as 18-year-old Tyler Carey of East Haven, refused to pull over and took off onto I-95 northbound. Police followed the car, which they say was driving extremely fast and recklessly, until police had to stop the pursuit near Exit 54 in Branford due to danger to other motorists. Police say the car had been stolen from New Haven.

The officer got off at the next exit and began driving back to East Haven along Route 1 when he saw smoke. Police say they found the Toyota Corolla had crashed head-on into another vehicle. Carey and the five occupants had fled. Police tracked Carey with a K9 unit and found him in the woods.

Police say four children under the age of 15 were in the car at the time of the crash. Four-year-old Jai’rus Jerimiah Little of Hamden was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he died. The other passengers were all located. Police say a total of six people, four juveniles and two adults, were in the car.

Carey was arrested and charged with second-degree larceny, first-degree reckless endangerment, four counts of risk of injury to a minor, failure to have tail lights, failure to stop for police, misuse of a license plate, reckless driving, driving in the improper lane and failure to signal. Police say additional charges are likely given Jairus’ death. Carey was held on $500,000 bond.

Police say passenger, 24-year-old Brandon Little, had several arrest warrants out of West Haven and New Haven. He was arrested and held on those warrants.

The driver of the other car involved in the crash declined medical treatment on scene.

The incident remains under investigation.