NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — One week after a 62-year-old New Britain grandmother was killed in a hit and run, her friend is demanding changes to the road so it doesn’t happen again.
Brenda Catucci was crossing South Main Street — a place her family and friends said she crossed several times a day — when she was hit and killed. A week later, a memorial of candles, flowers and notes are keeping her memory alive. One note is addressed “to the best woman I’ve ever met.”
It only took a minute for Tiovanni Scaturro to lose his best friend.
“My mind couldn’t accept that it was her,” Scatturo said.
He said the two were about to grab a lottery ticket. Scatturo went in to grab his wallet. When he came outside, saw a woman facedown on the road.
“I would have been mowed down with her the way that person was driving — with no respect for life,” Scatturo said.
New Britain police arrested Sam Harris that night after seeing a still photo from surveillance video and recognizing his vehicle, according to officers. The 25-year-old allegedly posted a video on social media of his broken windshield, claiming it cracked from the cold temperatures.
He is being held on a $1 million bond.
“She got mowed down like she was an animal,” Scatturo said. “Not to stop, not to know that you hit her, and then to got home and post?”
Scatturo said he will attend every court hearing, hoping Harris is prosecuted to the fullest extent.
He’s also demanding safety upgrades for South Main Street and say he was nearly hit two days after Catucci was killed.
“This is like a little state highway for New Britain,” Scatturo said. “This road is so dangerous at all times of the day. Run lights, slam into buildings, accidents all the time.”
New Britain Police data reflecting that, revealing there have been 52 crashes in the area in the last three years.
Scatturo has lived in the area for a few years. He said there are several elderly housing complexes with no direct crosswalk to the plaza across the street.
“They have to worry about if they are going to get run over,” Scatturo said. “They need to put a crossroad. The police need to patrol this area longer, start giving out more tickets for speeding.”
Scatturo said Catucci was born and raised in the area, and was aware of the dangers.
“She was always telling other people, ‘When you cross the street ,look where you are going.’ That’s why I find this very hard that she died in the way that she died,” Scatturo said.
Catucci’s funeral will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Farrell Funeral Home.
News 8 reached out to the city of New Britain about any potential safety and road upgrades to the area, but have not heard back.