Police: Speed and alcohol contributed to crash that killed former Shelton student

The operator of a vehicle involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident Oct. 31 on South Main Street in Seymour has been arrested on several criminal charges.

Manuel Esteves, 20, of 33 Meadfarm Road, Seymour surrendered to officers at the Seymour Police Department  Nov. 29 around 6:30 p.m., said Lt. Paul Satkowski. Esteves had learned that a warrant had been approved by the Derby Superior Court for his arrest.

“Speed and alcohol were determined to be the contributing factors in this accident,” Satkowski said.

Esteves was charged with manslaughter in the second degree, assault in the second degree, reckless driving and DWI under age 21.

A police investigation determined that Esteves was the operator of the motor vehicle which was traveling northbound on South Main Street at the time of the accident.

According to witnesses, he passed another vehicle at a high rate of speed in the area prior to Balkos Service Station, Satkowski said. As the vehicle approached the intersection of Pearl Street, Esteves' vehicle failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and struck a utility pole head on.

The right front seat passenger, Korey Jordan, 20, of Anderson Street in Naugatuck, was killed as a result from injuries sustained from the accident, Satkowski said. Jordan was found trapped in the front seat because of the heavy damage sustained to the vehicle.

He was unconscious and had to be extricated from the vehicle by Seymour Fire Department personnel. He was treated on scene by Seymour Ambulance personnel and later died at Waterbury Hospital, Satkowski said.

Jordan was a life-long Valley resident, attended public schools in Shelton and was a 2011 graduate of Emmett O’Brien Technical HIgh School in Ansonia.

Two rear seat passengers, Joseph Staffier, 20, of Hawkins Street, Derby, and a 17-year-old male juvenile were also injured in the accident. Both continue to recuperate from their injuries.

The vehicle sustained heavy damage, and Esteves received serious but non-life threatening injuries.

He’s continuing to recover from those injuries, Satkowski said.

Investigating officers smelled an odor of alcohol emanating from Esteves while at the accident scene, Satkowski said, and they determined that Esteves had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of nearly eight times the legal limit of what is allowed by Connecticut law for someone under the age of 21 and nearly two times the legal limit of an adult over age 21.

Patrol Sergeant David Parratt was the lead investigator assigned to the accident and was assisted by Patrol Officer Michael Santanelli, and both are accident reconstruction specialists for the Seymour Police Department.

“Both officers are to be commended for being able to secure an arrest warrant in a relatively short period of time with an accident of this magnitude,” Satkowski said. “They have both worked tirelessly to bring a quick resolution, so Korey Jordan’s family can begin the healing process, knowing justice will be served for this senseless tragedy which was preventable.”

Esteves was released from custody after posting a $50,000 surety bond, and he’s scheduled to appear in Derby Superior Court on Thursday, Dec. 13 to answer the charges.