A Hartford police officer has been charged with vehicular homicide in connection with a car accident that took the life of a 50-year-old man in July. Prosecutors say the officer was out of control as he was on his way to a crime scene, causing the collision.

Around 1 a.m. on July 13, the officer was responding to a call of an armed person who was being taken into custody by other officers. Though few details were made available, the accused officer entered an intersection and crashed into the victim's car, causing the second vehicle to slam into a nearby church.

The victim spent a week in the hospital before passing away on July 20. At the time, the chief of the Hartford Police Department expressed its condolences to his family and promised to investigate the accident.

That investigation led authorities to arrest the officer on Oct. 18. He was booked into jail and charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, driving too fast for conditions, failing to obey a traffic signal and reckless driving. He was released after signing a written promise to appear at the next court hearing, which is scheduled for Oct. 25. An article about the arrest does not mention the accused officer's job status with the Hartford Police Department.

Police officers have a difficult job to do, and sometimes it is necessary for them to drive very quickly to respond to an emergency. But this arrest shows that law enforcement has the same responsibility as every other person on the road not to be reckless and put others in harm's way.

Source: WVIT-TV, "Officer Charged in Fatal Crash," LeAnne Gendreau, Oct. 18, 2012

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