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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Driver accused of negligent homicide

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— A 31-year-old local man was arrested this week, four months after police said he struck and killed an elderly pedestrian with his car and left the man “dying in the woods.”
Eric J. Furtado, 31, of 1155 Naugatuck Ave., was arrested Monday on a warrant charging negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, evading responsibility, and failure to use care to avoid a pedestrian.
Police said Furtado struck Jean Suta, 77, while Suta was walking on Naugatuck Avenue near West Rutland Road. Suta lived across the street from Furtado at 1152 Naugatuck Ave. They were less than half a mile away from both of their houses when Suta was struck at 8:57 a.m.
Furtado told police he had been awake for more than 24 hours and had been drinking a combination of beer and whiskey, but had stopped drinking about seven hours before he struck Furtado, according to the arrest warrant. Furtado told police he heard a “thud,” but thought he hit a dog and drove home without stopping. Furtado drank iced tea with his father before they decided to return to the accident scene.
Police, however, believe Furtado knew he struck Suta, as the crushed hood of his Dodge Durango indicates Suta bounced onto the hood before being sent about eight feet into the woods, according to the arrest warrant.
“Mr. Suta was left dying in the woods,” the arrest warrant reads.
Furtado returned to the accident site about 20 minutes after the accident and called 911. Suta was transported to Bridgeport Hospital where he died of his injuries.
About two hours after the accident, Furtado passed a roadside sobriety test, and two Breathalyzer tests revealed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.021 and 0.005. The legal limit for someone over 21 years old is 0.08.
Furtado is free pending his June 19 court date after posting $10,000 bail.
James Tinley can be reached at or 401-3530.


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