Police allege Torrington man had drugs in system when he caused serious car crash in Bristol that left woman with life-altering injuries

Published on Wednesday, 13 October 2021 15:58


BRISTOL -- A Torrington man faces charges after police say he tested positive for multiple drugs following a car accident in which another driver sustained life-altering injuries that have inhibited her ability to walk.

Charlton Chittem, 34, allegedly had cocaine metabolite, opiates and cannabinoids in his system during an accident authorities accused him of causing on May 24, as he was leaving a methadone clinic on Farmington Avenue around 9:38 a.m., according to the warrant for his arrest.

The other driver involved, the warrant said, underwent multiple surgeries on her left ankle, which needed total reconstruction, and on her right ankle. At the time police spoke to her in July, the warrant said, doctors were still determining how to reconstruct her right foot. She was expected to have to undergo “extended surgery and rehabilitation” to be able to walk, the warrant said. The injuries were considered life-altering.

According to police, Chittem, as he was leaving the methadone clinic at 1098 Farmington Ave., was making a left to proceed west on Route 6 when he crossed into the path of the victim, who was traveling east on Farmington Avenue.

Both drivers had to be extricated from their vehicles before they were taken to St. Francis Hospital, in Hartford. Chittem, court documents said, suffered four broken ribs, a concussion and three fractured vertebrae.

Inside Chittem’s vehicle following the crash, police reported finding 20 wax folds containing heroin, 14 small baggies of crack cocaine, a glass pipe with a copper filter, which is commonly used to smoke crack and a bowl-style pipe, according to the warrant.

Police also found that Chittem did not have a valid driver’s license. He was not charged in the accident until last month, when he was arrested on charges of second-degree assault, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance, operating under the influence, failure to grant right of way and operating a motor vehicle without a license.

Chittem is being held on $75,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court on Monday.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Wednesday, 13 October 2021 15:58. Updated: Wednesday, 13 October 2021 16:00.