Empty 18-Pack of Beer Found in Car Connected to Fatal Crash: Police

A 59-year-old North Haven woman is dead after a crash in New Haven Wednesday night and police said they found an empty 18-pack of beer in the car they think struck the motorcycle she was on. 

Police also said the suspect left the scene and was later found in a shirt that was covered in vomit. 

Officers responded to a motorcycle crash at Chapel and East streets at 11:12 p.m. Wednesday and learned that two people were on the motorcycle and the other driver involved in the crash fled the scene, police said. 

Diane Benedetto, 59, of North Haven, the passenger on the motorcycle, sustained severe injuries and she was pronounced dead at Yale-New Haven Hospital. The motorcycle driver was also injured and was taken to the same hospital. 

A witness at the scene told police the offending driver had fled to a nearby scrap yard, where he abandoned the vehicle and walked away, police said. 

Police found the car and 18 open cans of Modelo beer that were empty, police said. 

The witness also described the one person seen in the car and officers found someone matching that description moments later. 

Police identified the man as 35-year-old Carlos Perez, of New Haven, and said he lied to officers about his name and said the car was his but he wasn’t driving. 

He couldn’t keep track of the number of people he told police were in his car or the names he’d given of the driver, according to police, and at one point said he’d been the only person in the car but maintained it wasn’t he who was driving. 

Police said the investigation into the crash continues, but they have arrested Perez and charged him with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, manslaughter in the second degree, assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle, evading responsibility, failure to meet minimum insurance requirements, operating a motor vehicle without a license, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and failure to grant the right of way at an intersection.

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