NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – New Haven police announced two arrests Wednesday in separate deadly hit-and-runs. They also urged drivers to pay attention and obey the law to avoid another fatal hit-and-run.
“These are difficult cases to solve,” said Capt. Rose Dell with New Haven Police Department. “Nationwide, only 10% of these cases are cleared by arrests.”
Police said Timothy Toliver hit 79-year-old bicyclist Stephen Rediker with his truck on College Street in November 2021.
“A black truck made a left turn from Grove Street onto College Street and then struck the rear of the bicycle,” Dell said.
Police released video and a photo of the truck, ultimately leading to Toliver’s arrest last month.
The second case happened in September 2021. Police said Charles Artis hit 49-year-old Michael Santiago while Santiago was crossing Chapel Street.
“The force of the collision caused Santiago to vault over the roof line of the vehicle, break through the rear windshield, and became lodged in the rear compartment of the vehicle,” Dell said.
According to police, Artis kept driving for more than eight minutes with Santiago’s body still in the car.
“Artis stopped his vehicle along the side of Greenwood Street, pulled the body out of the rear compartment of the vehicle, and dragged the body onto the roadway near the curb,” Dell said.
Earlier this month, Artis was arrested and charged with manslaughter.
In 2021, New Haven police responded to 8,506 crashes, with 19 of them being fatal. So far, in 2022, police have responded to more than 6,000 crashes, with 10 being fatal.
“We want to see a New Haven someday where it’s completely safe, and we don’t have to deal with these kinds of senseless deaths,” New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson said.
Police said they are expanding their motor unit and stepping up traffic enforcement. They said they will soon announce more arrests in other fatal hit-and-runs.