Police say at around 9:53 p.m., on January 16th, officers responded to 95 Vine Street on the report of pedestrians struck by a car. Upon arrival, police found 24-year-old Tina Fontanez and 23-year-old Catalina Melendez, both of Hartford, suffering from serious injuries.
Officials say the victims had just exited a cab and were in the travel lanes of the road when they were struck by a car. The driver of the vehicle then allegedly fled the scene.
Both women were taken to Saint Francis Hospital were Fontanez died that night and Melendez died days later, on January 23rd, from her injuries.
The vehicle, a 2006 silver Acura TSX, was later recovered by police in the area of Bethel Street and Guilford Street.
According to police, the registered owner of that car, 25-year-old Lorenzo Ivery, of Hartford, reported it stolen to police. However, after reviewing evidence and surveillance video, detectives say Ivery was an occupant in the car during the incident.
Ivery was arrested on multiple charges, including evading a motor vehicle accident with death. He was held on a $150,000 bond.
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After an investigation and an analysis of video footage, detectives were able to identify the operator of the car as 24-year-old Nathaniel Jefferson. During an interview with police, officials say Jefferson admitted to driving the car when it struck the victims.
Jefferson was arrested and charged with manslaughter, evading responsibility with death, evading responsibility, reckless driving, traveling too fast for conditions, failure to drive in proper lane and operating with a suspended license. He was held on $1 millions bond.