Passenger dies in rollover crash following stolen car chase by Danbury officer

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DANBURY — State Police have joined an investigation into a fatal crash that occurred following a police chase.

On Thursday, December 1 at 10:40 a.m. a 1997 Ford Explorer was driving on Mountainville Road, near the intersection of Mountain Road. Danbury Police

Officer Jamie Hodge, 38, a one-year member of department, was working a roadside construction assignment as an extra duty job. He was near Main Street and Center Street when he noticed the Explorer, which Officer Hodger recognized as having been been reported stolen.

Police say Hodge jumped into his own personal car and began chasing the Explorer. He reportedly called the chase into Danbury Police dispatch.

The officer was unable to stop the car, and while the Explorer was on a left hand curve in the road it left the roadway, hit a State Traffic Commission sign in the right shoulder and then kept driving while straddling the roadway and shoulder. The Explorer eventually hit a utility pole support cable and utility pole, then drove over a private driveway before rolling over on the grass and coming to uncontrolled stop in the driveway.

The male driver, later identified as Ricardo Andre, 32, of Danbury, was taken to the hospital with a serious injury. The female passenger, Tiffany Fitzgerald, 26, of Danbury, was initially taken to the hospital with a serious injury, but died on Sunday. Police initially were unable to identify her immediately following the crash, but were able to about a day later.

Tiffany’s sister Amanda told FOX 61 she and Ricardo were friends and he was taking her to breakfast when the crash occurred.

In January of this year, Tiffany and Amanda’s mother died in a car crash in North Carolina. “My plan is to put her and her mother Liz Fitzgerald who was also killed in a car crash in January to rest together,” Tiffany’s father, Tim, wrote in a GoFundMe page started to raise money for her funeral.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life is to put my daughter Tiffany to rest,” Tim added.

Ricardo Andre

Ricardo Andre

The State’s Attorney’s Office requested that State Police join the investigation, along with Danbury Police.

Before being discharged from the hospital Monday, Danbury Police arrived to arrest Andre on three outstanding warrants for a slew of charges, including reckless endangerment in the first degree, interfering with police and resisting arrest, reckless driving, engaging police in a pursuit and larceny. He was also charged with failure to appear in court for some of those charges.

Those old charges are related to cases from 2015 and January 2016, and bond for all three combined was set at $42,000. He has not been charged yet in relation to last Thursday’s crash or in connection to the stolen vehicle he was in.

If you witnessed the crash please call police at 860-779-4917.