BRISTOL - A Hartford man has been accused of causing a car accident in Bristol, injuring a woman, and leaving the scene before having another woman lie to police for him.
Jose Torres, 29, allegedly had a woman report the vehicle involved in the crash as stolen, in an attempt mislead authorities about who had been driving, according to the arrest warrant. He has been charged with evading responsibility, second-degree providing a false statement, conspiracy to commit falsely reporting an incident and operating without registration or suspended license.
Police allege Torres, driving a Ford Mustang south on West Street on Jan. 5 around 12 p.m., turned west onto Jacobs Street and lost control of the vehicle, striking a vehicle that was traveling east on Jacobs, the warrant said. According to police, Torres then drove to a family member’s home on Park Street without stopping or leaving any insurance information.
The driver of the other vehicle involved did not immediately go to the hospital. She later went to a walk-in center after experiencing shoulder pain she believes was caused by the crash.
According to the warrant, police believe Torres had the owner of the Mustang, who was in the passenger seat during the crash, report her vehicle as stolen when police contacted her about the accident. She initially told officers she did not know the vehicle was gone until authorities told her it had been involved in a car accident and was found in a local parking lot.
The vehicle owner, police wrote in the warrant, later confessed that she filed a false report about her vehicle being stolen.
When police spoke to Torres, the warrant said, he told investigators that the woman had actually been driving and she had him switch seats immediately after the crash. However, police asked the driver of the other vehicle to identify the suspect driver using a photo lineup, and she picked out Torres, police said.
Torres was charged in the crash last week. He is free on $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Bristol Superior Court on March 16.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.