An Oxford teenager who was driving a Ford Mustang that crashed into a building, killing an student on Friday, had five motor vehicle violations and had been sent to driver retraining twice in his two years with a license, according to state records.
Eric H. Ramirez, 19, of 3 Wood Road, had two moving violations – one for failure to obey a stop sign and one for driving too fast for conditions - since he got his license in March 2010, said Bill Seymour, spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.
Ramirez’s first driving violation was issued two months after he received his license - he was given a summons for failure to yield the right of way, DMV records show. Seymour said state records show other motor vehicle violations between 2010-11; those include:
- Failure to obey a stop sign in the town of Seymour;
- Driving too fast for conditions in Bridgeport;
- A summons in Shelton for “equipment used improperly or obstructed” (He had neon lights on the undercarriage of his car that are illegal in Connecticut.);
- Another summons was issued in Shelton for “improper care or maintenance of a license, registration certificate or plate.” (Ramirez had no criminal convictions listed in state Judicial Branch records.)
Under Connecticut law, anyone who is cited for two motor vehicle moving violations under the age of 24 is required to attend driver retraining, Seymour said. Ramirez was ordered to go to driver retraining in September 2010; he was reordered to attend the classes in July 2011 because he had received subsequent motor vehicle violations after he completed the first class, Seymour said.
Driver retraining teaches people how to drive safely, how to pay attention properly on the road, how to not commit moving violations; and instructors discuss some of the common reasons people get pulled over by police and the consequences of improper driving, Seymour said.
At the time of the fatal accident on Friday, Ramirez had a valid driver’s license under the law, Seymour said. The occurred at 11:47 p.m. on Old State Road in Oxford. That is when Ramirez, who was driving his 2000 Ford Mustang convertible with its top down, tried to elude a Seymour police officer who tried to pull the car over near Klarides Village in Seymour – on the undercarriage of his car and that he tried to pass someone on Route 67.
Ramirez drove a short distance into Oxford, turned right onto Old State Road just before the Pleasant Valley Professional Plaza, careened off the roadway, struck an embankment and went airborne striking a commercial building at 43 Old State Road. Police said the Mustang "came to an uncontrolled rest on its roof."
Backseat passenger , 15, of 94 Christian St., was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ramirez suffered serious injuries and officials in Oxford said he had been upgraded this week to fair condition; he was in serious condition immediately following the crash. His condition as of Wednesday could not be confirmed because a hospital spokeswoman said his family asked that hospital staff not reveal any more information about his condition to the public.
Dion Major, the front seat passenger in the car, is a 16-year-old student at Oxford High. He suffered minor injuries, and he attended a on Saturday night.
Major's family told Channel 3 Eyewitness News in Connecticut that Ramirez was driving as fast as 70-to-80 mph and that he turned his headlights off when he got onto Old State Road in an attempt to get away from a police officer. And, the Channel 3 report states, Giordano was asleep in the backseat when the chase began and awoke when Major started yelling at Ramirez to pull over. Read the full story and see a video report here on WFSB.com.
Investigation Will Take Weeks
A state police is investigating the incident and is working with Seymour police to determine what happened. Lt. J. Paul Vance, state police spokesman, said it could take several weeks before the team releases a report of its findings. Police said they would not know or discuss whether Ramirez will be charged until the investigation is complete.
Locally, police said they have seen images from Ramirez’s public Facebook page that shows a photo of a car speedometer - taken in what is believed to be Ramirez’s car – that shows a speed exceeding 100 mph taken on a different night than the accident. The Waterbury Republican-American, which first reported about Ramirez’s driving record on Wednesday, quotes Ramirez’s Facebook page in which he brags about his car. Several photos of Ramirez’s car were posted on his Facebook page over the weekend, but it appears that page had been taken down or put to very private settings by Wednesday.
Ramirez attended Oxford High School but did not graduate; his last year was in 2010. It was unclear whether he ever received a diploma or a GED. He may have taken classes in the adult education program at Naugatuck High School, but officials there said they would not confirm that information without permission from Ramirez.
Ramirez listed his employer on Facebook as a window installation company in Shelton.