Police: Suspect in fatal Shelton crash was driving nearly 100 mph

Photo of Ethan Fry
A photo from Shelton’s Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. 1’s Twitter page depicting the scene of a fatal August 2019 crash on Route 8 in Shelton.

A photo from Shelton’s Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. 1’s Twitter page depicting the scene of a fatal August 2019 crash on Route 8 in Shelton.

Contributed / Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. 1 Twitter

DERBY — Police say a Bridgeport man due in court this month was driving nearly 100 miles per hour before an August 2019 crash that killed a 20-year-old passenger on Route 8 in Shelton.

The suspect, 23-year-old Markas Campo, faces charges of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, failure to drive in the proper lane, and driving without insurance in connection to the Aug. 9, 2019 crash.

His lawyer did not return a message seeking comment.

The man killed in the crash, 20-year-old Jarvis Jones, of Bridgeport, “was so loved and will be greatly missed,” his family said at the time.

According to an arrest warrant written by State Trooper Alexander Horjatschun, Campo was behind the wheel of a 2005 Ford Five Hundred on Route 8 south, north of Exit 12, about 6:15 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle, which swerved off the road and rolled into a tree.

Jones, who was in the backseat, was thrown from the vehicle and critically injured. He was rushed to St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, but was pronounced dead about three hours after the crash.

At the time, Campo was driving Jones and Jones’ brother home from work at a Watertown BMW dealership where they washed and detailed cars, according to the warrant.

Interviewed at the hospital after the crash, Jones’ brother told police Campo “usually speeds and he was (that) day,” the warrant says. The brother also said that prior to the crash, Campo had been driving in the center lane and began to speed up because it looked like two other vehicles wanted to move into the lane.

Jones’ brother said he remembered telling Campo “you’re crazy,” according to the warrant, and that he looked at Jones, who was in the back seat and said the same thing. He said the last thing he remembered before being in the hospital was putting on his seatbelt.

Other witnesses told police that it appeared that two other vehicles had been racing through traffic prior to the crash, and that one, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, swerved in front of Campo’s vehicle and might have hit it. The warrant says Horjatschun tracked down the owners of several similar vehicles in the area but couldn’t link any of them to the incident.

In an interview at the hospital the week after the crash, Campo told police this his recollection of what happened was “a little fuzzy,” but that he was driving “at a good speed” with the flow of traffic when another car cut him off.

“The next thing he remembers was going off the road and hitting the tree,” the warrant says.

Police obtained a search warrant to inspect Campo’s car, which showed “no abnormalities or mechanical defects...that would have been a causative or contributing factor” in the crash. The inspection also found no evidence that the vehicle made contact with another vehicle prior to swerving off the road, the warrant says.

The vehicle also had a data recorder which showed it was traveling 96 mph 2.4 seconds prior to the crash, according to the warrant. The speed limit is 55 mph.

Campo is due in court Aug. 15. He was initially charged in August 2020, but has not yet entered pleas in the case, according to court records, and remains free on a $5,000 nonsurety bond.