Scooter Driver Who Badly Injured Officer Was Under Influence of Cocaine: Police

New Haven Police

A 70-year-old West Haven man has been arrested in connection with a crash that seriously injured a New Haven police officer in November and police said the suspect was under the influence of cocaine and cannabinoids, did not have a license and was going too fast. 

Thomas Greatsinger, 70, of West Haven, has been charged in the crash Nov. 28, 2016 that injured New Haven Police Detective Juan Ingles. 

Police said Ingles was one of two police officers who was directing traffic at a construction project on Kimberly Avenue, under Interstate Highway 91, around 3:15 p.m. that day when Greatsinger hit him on a motor scooter. 

Ingles was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for serious injuries, including a fractured disc in his spine, three herniated discs and a concussion, according to police. He remains out of work and police said they do not know when he will be well enough to return. 

Police said the scene was well marked, with permanent work zone signs on both ends of the work zone, yellow sand barrels and cement barriers and a police car with warning lights on ahead of the work zone. 

Despite that, Greatsinger didn’t see Ingles until it was too late, police said. 

According to results of toxicology tests, Greatsinger was under the influence of cannabinoids and cocaine at the time of the crash, police said. When police checked his driving history, they learned he has never had a Connecticut driver’s license and a motorcycle endorsement and the GT Vespa scooter he was driving also had a motor over 49 cc and is required by Connecticut law to be registered, police said. 

Police said Greatsinger was also traveling unreasonably fast, failed to slow down and sun glare impeded his vision. 

Greatsinger was arrested Thursday and charged with assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle under the influence, striking an officer with a motor vehicle, traveling unreasonably fast in a construction zone, operating a motorcycle without a motorcycle endorsement and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.

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