TOLLAND, Conn. (WTNH) – An Ellington man who struck and killed an off-duty South Windsor police officer was sentenced on Thursday for multiple offenses in connection to the deadly crash, according to the Connecticut Division of Justice.

On June 26, 2021, Officer Benjamin Lovett, 25, was critically injured while riding his motorcycle when he was hit by Spencer Kraus, 26, who then attempted to evade the scene in Torrington, according to police.

Benjamin Lovett (CREDIT: SWPD)

South Windsor PD mourning loss of young officer struck by drunk driver in off-duty motorcycle crash

Lovett later died at Hartford Hospital on July 13, 2021; from the injuries, he sustained in the crash.

On Thursday, Kraus was sentenced to 11 years in prison for evading responsibility in Lovett’s death. In addition, Kraus was also sentenced to eight years in prison for second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle and second-degree assault with a motor vehicle.

The South Windsor Police Department released a statement to the public on Friday thanking the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Connecticut State Police for their efforts on the case to finally bring a sense of closure to the Lovett family and their department.

Although it will not bring Ben back to us, we appreciate the fact that to some extent, there is closure to what has been a difficult period for our agency and more importantly for the Lovett family. We will forever stand with the Lovett family and ensure that Ben’s legacy as a South Windsor Police Officer carries on. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the families affected by this tragedy.

Lovett was a beloved member of the South Windsor Police Department. In addition to his role as a police officer, Lovett also worked as an EMT and crisis intervention team member in his years with the department.

Lovett joined the South Windsor Police Department in April 2018. During his time as a police officer, Lovett received numerous letters of appreciation from the public. According to the department, he was a proactive, effective and valuable team player.

MADD CT creates educational fund in honor of fallen South Windsor police officer killed in DUI crash

In the spring of 2020, Lovett was temporarily assigned to the South Windsor Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau as part of an experimental program to give newer officers exposure to specialized positions, where Lovett proved himself to be a capable and talented apprentice.  

In 2020, Lovett was appointed to the position of narcotics officer for the East Central Narcotics Task Force, a regional team comprised of officers from the Manchester, Vernon, Glastonbury and South Windsor police departments, where he was an asset to the team. Lovett held numerous investigation and narcotics training certificates.

Lovett was also the recipient of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recognition award in 2020.

Lovett is greatly missed by the South Windsor Police Department.

“Benjamin was a valuable member of the department, an easygoing and bright officer, a friend and a co-worker who is greatly missed by his family at the South Windsor Police Department,” the department shared in a release.