Suspect in Seymour crash that killed two funeral-goers facing manslaughter charges

DERBY — A prosecutor on Tuesday lodged more serious charges against the driver suspected in the hit-and-run deaths of a Shelton couple nearly a year ago after they attended a funeral in Seymour.

The suspect, Jair Irigoyen-Flores, 25, appeared briefly before Judge Scott M. Jones in Derby Superior Court Tuesday, where Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Rebecca Barry filed the new charges – two counts of second-degree manslaughter, Class C felonies punishable by up to 10 years behind bars – in the Dec. 10, 2021 crash that resulted in the death of James and Barbara Tamborra.

Irigoyen-Flores had initially been charged with misconduct with a motor vehicle, a Class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. He also faces a charge of evading responsibility in a crash involving a death, punishable by up to 20 years.

Court officials acknowledged the new charges but did not discuss specifics during Tuesday’s appearance, during which Barry said she was still in the process of turning over discovery evidence to Irigoyen-Flores’ lawyer, Dan Lage.

Neither Barry nor Lage commented on the new charges outside court.

Kenneth Tamborra, one of the couple’s sons, has led large contingents of family and friends to hearings in the case. He said after Tuesday’s hearing he was encouraged to see the prosecutor file the new charges.

“It’s a good thing,” Tamborra said.

The misconduct charge calls for a defendant to have caused the death of another person “with criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle.” The manslaughter charge says a person is guilty when they “recklessly cause the death of another person.” 

Tamborra said the family doesn’t know all the details of the investigation but are confident in the probe.

“They said there was a lot of evidence. They did a lot of investigation, there were a lot of different avenues they followed,” he said. “I don’t know if there’s any conclusions, but they did indicate that if anybody else was found to be involved then they would go after them.”

Last month, Irigoyen-Flores’ brother, Riqui, was charged with trying to intentionally mislead investigators by helping to hide the Acura that Jair Irigoyen-Flores was accused of driving, lying to police and leading them to a "nearly identical" vehicle to throw them off track during the investigation of the fatal crash.

Tamborra said the family is going through a “tough week” in the lead-up to the date marking one year since the death of his parents.

“It’s going to be a tough week coming up, that’s for sure,” he said. “Some days are hard. Today’s a hard day to come here.”

In the courtroom, Judge Jones addressed about a dozen friends and family of the Tamborras before continuing the case to Feb. 7, 2023.

“These requests are primarily to make sure that discovery has been received by defense counsel that they’re entitled to,” Jones said. “Once that’s done, we can move forward with the case.”

Irigoyen-Flores remains held in lieu of $1.5 million bond at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield.

He was arrested after police said an anonymous tipster called cops identifying Irigoyen-Flores as the driver of the Acura which struck the Shelton couple as they were crossing Bank Street following a funeral.

James Tamborra died from his injuries soon after the crash. Barbara Tamborra died a few days later in the hospital.

In an arrest warrant, police said a neighbor of Irigoyen-Flores, who said he had borrowed her car, stated that he called her crying when he got home on the night of Dec. 10. The warrant said he told her “he did not know if he hit someone or something on his way home from work.” She told investigators he kept saying he couldn’t see them because it was dark, the warrant states.

Police said Irigoyen-Flores had bought a one-way plane ticket to Mexico scheduled for the morning he was arrested outside his West Haven home, which had been staked out by a state police narcotics squad following the anonymous tip

ethan.fry@hearstmediact.com