FAA releases report on Hartford drone incident

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Drone Flying Over Crash Scene Has Police, FAA Concerned

HARTFORD- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has closed its investigation into a drone seen flying over a Hartford car crash in February 2014, according to a report obtained by FoxCT news.

The FAA determined there was no evidence of careless or reckless operation or commercial operation of the drone in question.

As FoxCT first reported last year, Hartford Police questioned a WFSB-TV news employee who was seen flying a drone on Saturday, Feb. 1 2014 over the scene of a fatal car crash. Officers then wrote a police report based on the incident.

The FAA confirmed they were investigating the incident but did not provide any further information at the time. The FAA concluded its investigation on June 6 2014.

FoxCT then filed a freedom of information act request on June 11 2014 to obtain the FAA report on the investigation. The FAA provided that report to FoxCT on December 10 2014.

The full FAA report reads:

“News report by WTIC Fox 61 reported that a drone was operated over an accident scene in Hartford on Feburary 1, 2014. The news report had a copy of a police report of the occurence. I obtained the police report and contacted Sgt Yergeau… (redacted info)… of the Hartford Police Department who wrote the report. In talking with him he did not actually witness the drone-operation but did see the drone parked at the feet of the operator identified as Pedro Rivera from Hartford, CT who worked for WFSB TV. Sgt. Yergeau requested that he stop operating the drone at the scene. Mr. Rivera complied with the request and also stated that he did not transmit any photos nor was he working for WFSB TV at the time. I asked Sgt. Yergeau if any of the other officers at the scene witnessed the operation and if they could identify if the UAS operated over their heads. He said he would check with them and provide witness statements from them.

On 2/19/2014 in a follow up email Sgt. Yergeau provided another photo of another incident and also stated that he was in the process of obtaining the information from various officers on scene of the fatal motor vehicle accident on 2/1/2014.

Approximately 1 week later a news report came out that the Hartford Police were being sued by Mr. Rivera. I contacted Sgt. Yergeau and he told me that Mr. Rivera was suing him personally and he could not comment further. Further attempts to contact Sgt. Yergeau went unanswered.

Update 6/6/2014, I made contact with Sgt. Yergeau and he said that the other officers at the scene only reported that the Drone was operating in the local area and not over their heads.

With no evidence that a careless or reckless operation or commercial operation were conducted this matter is considered closed.”