Police seek witnesses to fatal car accident

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Fri., Jul. 22, 2011
Steven Henry was fatally struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle on Hartford Road on July 17. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Steven Henry was fatally struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle on Hartford Road on July 17. Photos by Martha Marteney.

According to the Manchester Police Department, on Sunday, July 17, at approximately 1 a.m., Jonathan Feliz, 24, of Manchester, was driving a 2009 Subaru sedan eastbound on Hartford Road when he was found to be driving over the speed limit by a MPD officer checking radar from a side street. When the officer pursued the suspect vehicle, Feliz quickly turned onto Waddell Road and then onto Bunce Drive, where he struck a parked vehicle. He then turned back onto Hartford Road, continuing eastbound.

Police say that as Feliz continued to speed down Hartford Road, he drove through a red light at the intersection of Hartford Road and McKee Street. He then struck a bicyclist, East Hartford resident Steven Henry, 18, who was in the travel portion of the road. 

After hitting the bicyclist, police report that Feliz’ vehicle went out of control, rolling over several times and striking a gas pump at the Mobil Gas Station. Safety features at the gas station prevented any release of gasoline.

Henry was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Feliz was extricated from the vehicle by the Manchester Fire Department. He was taken to Hartford Hospital, where he remains in critical but stable condition, as of press time.

According to MPD Information Officer Lt. Christopher Davis, the police officer was working a state-funded DUI patrol when he spotted Feliz driving recklessly. The suspect vehicle then “accelerated at high speed to get away from the officer,” said Davis.

At the request of Chief Marc Montminy, the Metro Traffic Services Unit is handling the investigation of the fatal car accident. According to South Windsor Police Department Lt. Rich Bond, a member of the MTS Regional Investigation Services Team, it is standard procedure to have the investigation handled by another agency.

“When you have cases that involve the host agency,” he stated, “the investigation is turned over to the regional team to be sure everything is above-board.” Also, by utilizing the MTS, additional resources are available, including the five investigators assigned to this case. MTS is comprised of seven area towns, including the MPD and the SWPD.

Bond noted that video footage from area businesses indicate that other vehicles and pedestrians were in the area at the time of the accident. Witnesses are encouraged to contact Bond at 860-648-6211 to provide their recollection of the events.

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