A 2-year-old girl was injured so badly that she nearly lost her arm when her father drove into a swimming pool in Ledyard while driving drunk last month, according to police.
Police said Marcus Harvin, 25, of New Britain, admitted to having “a few” alcoholic beverages at Mohegan Sun Casino before the crash. When officers later obtained medical records, they showed a blood alcohol level of .293, which is more than three times the legal limit.
Police started investigating at 12:44 a.m. on Sunday, May 25, after a witness called 911 to report a drunken driver.
She told the 911 dispatcher that she had gone up to a car that was stopped at Route 12 and Route 2A in Preston and noticed a man who appeared to be asleep as well as two young children in the car.
When she knocked on the window to get the man’s attention, he woke up and fled south on Route 12, toward Ledyard, police said.
After the witness called 911, police asked authorities, especially those in Ledyard, to be on the lookout for a black Acura.
At 12:53 a.m., a Ledyard police officer noticed a car matching the description running in the parking lot of the Henny Penny, so he approached.
The driver appeared to be asleep behind the wheel and two small children were in the back of the car, police said.
When the officer knocked on the window, Harvin opened it, and the officer noticed the smell of alcohol and his bloodshot eyes, police said.
With slurred speech, Harvin gave police his brother's name and admitted to having had drinks at the casino, police said. As the officer went to his car to check Harvin’s information, he heard the engine as Harvin sped down Route 12.
The officer turned on the sirens and started to follow Harvin, but called state police to say he would no longer try to stop the car because of the children, police said.
As Harvin fled, he lost control of his car, went off Route 12, hit a utility pole and traffic control box, went through a metal guard rail on the opposite side of the road, then crashed upside down in a swimming pool on Baldwin Hill Road in Ledyard, according to police.
After police rescued Harvin and his two daughters, the father told officers he did not remember anything leading up to the crash, police said.
The 2-year-old girl suffered the most serious injuries.
Her arm was “partially severed” during the crash, police said.
She went through a nine-hour surgery, followed by a second surgery, and has a pulse in her fingers, with the exception of the thumb, according to court paperwork.
More surgeries will be required, including a skin graft.
The 4-year-old broke her right ankle in the crash, police said, and has been released from the hospital.
Harvin was arrested and charged with second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, reckless driving, first-degree reckless endangerment and failure to obey an officer's signal.
He was due in court on Tuesday, but the case was postponed to June 24.