A 17-year-old Maloney High School student is in critical condition after a crash in Meriden Monday morning and police said his foster father, who was driving the SUV, was under the influence.
Meriden police said the 17-year-old boy was a passenger in the back seat of a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder that crashed into a utility pole near Baldwin Pond just after 11 a.m. and he was thrown from the vehicle and hit his head on a tree.
The teen was airlifted by LifeStar to the hospital, where he is in intensive care and is listed in critical condition. Police said he was not wearing a seatbelt.
Another family member who was visiting from another country was in the front seat was transported to Midstate Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Police have arrested the driver, 65-year-old James Bailey. They said he failed a field sobriety test at the scene and had a blood alcohol level of one and a half times the legal limit of .08.
He was not injured in the crash.
Police who arrived at the scene found the Pathfinder off the road and in several bushes across from the entrance to Baldwin’s Pond.
The vehicle was going north on North Wall Street at a high rate of speed, when it went off the road and hit a telephone pole in front of 193 North Wall St., police said. After snapping the pole, the Nissan continued north and hit another telephone pole located in front of 231 North Wall St.
Bailey was charged with DUI, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle.
He was released after posting $200,000.00 bond and is due in court on Oct. 15.
The state Department of Children and Families released a statement on Tuesday afternoon and said they are investigating.
“Upon learning of the incident, we immediately began a review of our involvement with this child and the care he received while placed with this family. An investigation has already commenced by our Special Investigations Unit regarding the specific circumstances leading up to the accident,” Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes said in a statement. “Furthermore, the Department has been in contact with the Office of the Child Advocate and Plaintiffs in the Juan. F. Consent Decree consistent with Governor Lamont’s requirements regarding state government transparency and accountability. We will cooperate fully with any outside review of our actions.”
Police are investigating and ask anyone with information to call the Meriden Police Department at 203 630-6215.