New Haven police arrested Hamden resident James J. Dennis this afternoon for a September incident in which he struck and killed a man while driving under the influence.
According to a drunk driving accident lawyer in charge of representing him says that the seven charges against Dennis included Manslaughter in the First Degree, Manslaughter in the Second Degree with a Motor Vehicle and Operating Under the Influence.
On the night of Sept. 18, Dennis was driving under the influence of Phencyclidine, the drug commonly known as PCP. Dennis ran through a red light at the intersection of Howe Street and Legion Avenue and struck a Honda CR-V, which was traveling eastbound on Legion Avenue. A Volkswagen Passat, also traveling eastbound on Legion Avenue, then struck the Honda.
A time-distance speed analysis indicated that, in the five seconds prior to impact, Dennis’ 2005 Mercedes Benz was moving at approximately 61.7 mph, more than 36 mph over the posted speed limit of 25 mph.
Manuel Portillo died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash. Three passengers of the Honda also sustained serious injuries.