“Driver, 19, Arrested in Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed Pedestrian”

By | August 17, 2023



A 19-year-old resident of Meriden, CT, named Jenessa Matias, has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that resulted in the death of a pedestrian earlier this year. Matias allegedly hit the pedestrian with her Dodge Caliber and then fled the scene. The victim, Clarence Harkless, was found intoxicated in the roadway. Matias has been charged with negligent homicide, evading responsibility causing death, and possession of cannabis. Vincent Salzo reported

A 19-year-old resident of Meriden, CT has been apprehended by the police in connection with a fatal hit-and-run incident that resulted in the death of a pedestrian earlier this year. Jenessa Matias surrendered herself to the authorities on Wednesday based on an outstanding warrant related to the crash that occurred near the MidState Medical Center at 435 Lewis Ave. According to the police, Matias was driving her Dodge Caliber on Lewis Avenue around 11:35 p.m. on February 1 after finishing her work shift when she allegedly struck a pedestrian who was in the road.

The victim, identified as Clarence Harkless, 58, was found lying in the northbound lane of Lewis Avenue near the south entrance to MidState Medical Center. It is believed that Harkless was attempting to walk to the bus stop in the Meriden Mall parking lot in order to catch the late bus to New Britain. Police discovered that Harkless was under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time.

After hitting Harkless, Matias initially pulled over but panicked and fled the scene upon realizing that she had hit a person. The police received a tip from a concerned citizen on February 2, which led them to locate the Dodge Caliber parked in front of Matias’ residence. Evidence collected from under the vehicle matched the clothing that Harkless was wearing. The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Harkless died as a result of blunt force trauma from being run over by a vehicle.

Matias has been charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, evading responsibility causing the death of a person, and possession of cannabis. She is currently being held on a $50,000 bond.

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