MONTVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — A 29-year-old Rhode Island man texted “im lit” and “im boutta have to focus super hard to get home” about an hour before a crash in Montville that killed two people who were standing on the shoulder outside a disabled vehicle, according to Connecticut State Police.
Derion LJ Coker, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was taken into custody on Friday and extricated from Rhode Island. He has been charged with two counts of evading responsibility in a crash that involved death, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failure to drive in the proper lane and two counts of manslaughter.
He was assigned a $200,000 cash bond.
Jamie Krajewski, 33, and 17-year-old Tyshon Ozzie Harper, both of Norwich, were hit at about 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 on Interstate 395 North. They were standing outside of a disabled vehicle on the shoulder, which was next to a second, parked vehicle.
During the crash, one of the vehicles hit two other pedestrians. They were not seriously injured.
Coker initially told police “They were in the middle of the street, I drove past and I hit them,” and that someone had stepped in front of his vehicle, according to police documents. When a trooper asked to speak to him, Coker replied, “I had a drink,” and said he had two beers.
Later, at a hospital, he said that he saw the pedestrians and must have driven over the white line but didn’t remember why or how, according to police documents.
Footage of him from earlier in the night at the Mohegan Sun shows him ordering and consuming multiple drinks and then driving erratically when trying to leave the parking lot, according to Connecticut State Police.
He is next scheduled to appear in court on June 13.