standing Stonington Police Department

STONINGTON — Police officials said Wednesday that they were looking into a complaint filed by the attorney for the estate of an elderly couple who were struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver in March.

The lawyer, Robert J. Reardon Jr., represents Theodore Ladwig, executor of the estate of Seth and Joanna Wakeman. The complaint, filed May 31, accused the Stonington police of refusing to release investigative materials.

Reardon is seeking release of a complete report on the March 9 crash in front of the Latitude 41 Restaurant in Mystic. The court has granted a hearing on June 17 to review the Bill of Discovery.

Stonington Police Capt. Todd Olson said the complaint was delivered to town officials in early June and that the department was "looking into aspects of the complaint." He declined to comment further on pending litigation.

Reardon is requesting "scene diagrams, witness statements, photographs, video and other such evidentiary information" compiled by the police department in connection with the crash.

According to initial police reports, the Wakemans were leaving the restaurant at 105 Greenmanville Ave. and suffered fatal injuries when they were struck by a car driven by Carol M. Belli, 73, of Groton. They were pronounced dead at Lawrence+Memorial Hospital in New London.

Police said that Belli, who remained on the scene and had pulled into a nearby parking lot after hitting the couple, showed signs of intoxication and was charged with driving under the influence. She was released after her arrest after posting a $600 bond and has since entered a not guilty plea to the DUI charge, court records show.

Police indicated in March that Belli could face additional charges pending the outcome of an investigation. No additional charges had been filed as of Tuesday. Police officials indicated Wednesday that detectives have not yet completed their investigation and that the case is still considered active.

In the days following the couple's death, the family retained Reardon and he began to seek details regarding the crash as soon as he was retained. The lawsuit indicates that despite his request, Reardon was told that the report would not be made available and further indicated that the department did not complete and provide its materials within 15 days, as required by state law.

"The failure of the Stonington Police Department to comply with Connecticut General Statutes §14-227i has caused the Plantiffs and their experts severe prejudice and irreparable harm as it impairs their ability to investigate this civil wrongful death cases," the complaint said.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.