HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- A New Haven man crashes his motorcycle and dies. Now state police are questioning their own officers into what lead to his death.
Witnesses say it all happened after a police chase.
The family attorney says Maurice Adams was out on parole for a drug charge a year ago and that he had changed his life around, holding down a job in construction and taking care of his two kids.
Now, his family plans his funeral and state police are investigating the crash.
Friends say 27-year-old Maurice Adams loved his two children, worked hard, and played hard riding his motorcycle.
"He was like a brother to me. One of my best friends," said Dean Williams, a family friend.
Candles surround the spot where Adams crashed around two, Saturday morning.
He died at the hospital.
"I think... it's rough. It's rough right now," said Williams.
He saw him earlier that night.
"I just asked him where he was going and he said he would be right back..never came back," said Williams.
Now state police, Hamden police, and a family attorney Michael Stratton are looking into what caused the crash.
"We have three or four witnesses indicating that the Hamden police were chasing Maurice's motorcycle in New Haven," said Stratton.
Chief of Hamden police, Thomas Wydra, declined an interview but said they are opening up an internal investigation "to determine if any department policies, rules, or regulations were violated by the police personnel who were involved in a brief motor vehicle pursuit with a motorcycle for motor vehicle violations" on August 17th. (Read his full statement below)
"You don't chase people for motor vehicle violations when they're on a motorcycle. It's illegal, you don't do it under the pursuit police policy," said Stratton. "It may explain why police left, because they had done something which is in violation of their policy."
Stratton says while Adams was lying on the ground, fighting for his life, he had to rely on neighbors for help.
"We have witnesses throughout the area who indicate that Hamden police were right at the scene. They turned around and left. Turned their lights off and left the scene," said Stratton.
"If the officer did see the accident, then he should have called an ambulance at least try to administer CPR. You never know what those critical minutes could have changed for him," said Williams.
The Hamden Chief also expressed his condolences to the family.
Below is his official statement:
"I have directed the Hamden Police Department Ethics and Integrity Unit to conduct a comprehensive and thorough internal investigation to determine if any department policies, rules, or regulations were violated by the police personnel who were involved in a brief motor vehicle pursuit with a motorcycle for motor vehicle violations on Dixwell Avenue on August 17th. It is believed that the pursued motorcycle is the same one that was eventually involved in an accident that occurred in the area of Dixwell Avenue and Munson Street in New Haven a short time later, and resulted in the unfortunate death of the operator. I want to offer my sincere condolences and prayers to the family of the victim."
"Critical components of the investigation will be the determination of whether or not the motorcycle was being actively pursued at the time of the accident, whether the pursuit was justified, as well as an examination of the overall actions and conduct of the police personnel throughout the entire incident." I understand that the Connecticut State Police is conducting the motor vehicle accident investigation. The Hamden Police Department will do everything possible to cooperate with that investigation."
"In an effort to protect the integrity and objectiveness of the internal investigation process, there will be no further comment at this time."
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