Juvenile suspect arrested after East Haven PD pursuit of stolen vehicle from Rye, NY ends in fatal crash


EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A woman died Sunday after being involved in a crash Thursday in East Haven with a stolen vehicle, according to the East Haven Police Department, (EHPD).

Police arrested the juvenile that was driving the stolen vehicle after the collision.

The crash sent 58-year-old Elena Laspino, of East Haven, who was operating her vehicle at the time, to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. East Haven police confirmed on Sunday that she died.

On Thursday at approximately 9:22 a.m. the Rye, New York Police Department contacted EHPD to let them know they were tracking a stolen Ford Explorer through the FordPass App and the vehicle was in EHPD’s jurisdiction.

Rye PD reported to EHPD the SUV had been stolen from their town at around 4 a.m. Thursday and the suspects in possession of the vehicle were possibly in possession of a handgun.

Rye PD continued to provide location updates as EHPD officers moved towards the vehicle’s location. 

Officers spotted the stolen Ford Explorer in the area of Gerrish Avenue and attempted to initiate a motor vehicle stop. The vehicle disregarded officer’s signal to stop and proceeded eastbound on Dodge Avenue to Hemingway Avenue, according to a police report. The vehicle continued northbound on Hemingway Avenue and struck a vehicle driven by Laspino at the intersection of Hemingway Avenue and Main Street.  

The juvenile operator of the stolen vehicle was not injured and was taken into custody at the scene.  He was transported to the East Haven Police Department for processing. 

The New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office and The Connecticut State Police C.A.R.S. Unit were called in to lead the investigation, which remains active at this time. The area of Hemingway Avenue and Main Street has since re-opened. The Connecticut State Police C.A.R.S. Unit has taken over this investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or the moments prior to the collision is asked to contact Trooper First Class Wayne Petralito #797 at 203-630-8085 or wayne.petralito@ct.gov.

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