South Windsor police

South Windsor Officer Dies After Off-Duty Motorcycle Crash

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A South Windsor police officer has died more than two weeks after he was involved in a crash on his motorcycle with a suspected intoxicated driver.

Officer Ben Lovett was off duty and riding his motorcycle in Tolland on June 26 just after 1 a.m. when the crash happened at the intersection of Hunter Road and Crystal Lake Road, according to state police.

Lovett, 25, was taken to Hartford Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He died at the hospital on Tuesday.

Officer Lovett had been with the South Windsor Police Department since April 2018.

He was appointed to the East Central Narcotics Task Force, a regional narcotics investigation team made up of officers from Vernon, Manchester, Glastonbury, and South Windsor.

Lovett served as an emergency medical technician at the department, was part of the Crisis Intervention Team, and last year he received the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recognition award.

"Most of all, Benjamin was a valuable member of the department, an easy going and bright officer, a friend and a coworker who will be greatly missed by his family at the South Windsor Police Department," a department spokesperson said in a news release.

Jennifer Sokolik, 39, who was riding on the back of Lovett's motorcycle, was also injured in the crash.

Police arrested the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash. Spencer Kraus, 24, of Ellington, failed a standardized field sobriety test after the crash, according to state police.

Kraus was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, evading responsibility, and failure to obey a stop sign. He is scheduled to be back in court July 20.

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