Danbury Police Officer Jamie Hodge Charged With Reckless Driving After Fatal Crash

Four days following the accident, state police said the ejected passenger, Tiffany Fitzgerald, 26, was pronounced dead at Danbury Hospital. Tiffany Fitzgerald, right, is shown here posing with her sister, Amanda Fitzgerald.

Four days following the accident, state police said the ejected passenger, Tiffany Fitzgerald, 26, was pronounced dead at Danbury Hospital. Tiffany Fitzgerald, right, is shown here posing with her sister, Amanda Fitzgerald.

DANBURY — A former Danbury police officer has been charged with reckless driving for his part in a high-speed chase last December that ended in a spectacular crash and the death of a young woman.

Jamie Hodge, 39, of Danbury, turned himself in to State Police on Friday after a months-long investigation of the chase that led through downtown and onto Mountainville Road, where the fleeing car ran into a utility pole and rolled over several times.

Tiffany Fitzgerald, 26, a passenger in the fleeing car, was thrown to the ground and died several days later from her injuries. The driver, Ricardo Andre, was wanted on several warrants and was taken into custody on his release from the hospital.

Hodge’s conduct in the chase had been questioned from the first.

According to police reports, he was working off-duty Dec. 1 at a construction site when he spotted Andre, whom he recognized from previous police encounters, driving a Ford Explorer that had been reported stolen. Telling the construction crew he would “be right back,” he jumped into his own car, a Chevy Tahoe, and followed.
Hodge later told investigators that when the Explorer stopped for a red light at South Street and Town Hill Avenue, he got out and walked toward it. When the driver sped off, Hodge said, he got back into his car and again followed, at a distance up to 250 yards.

Shortly afterward, two Danbury fire officials were stopped for a red light at Main and South streets when they saw the Explorer speed through the intersection, followed closely by the Chevy. Both officials later told investigators that both vehicles were moving at “highway speeds” and that the distance between them was no more than 20 yards.

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Filming Cops
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Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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