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Hartford Police Arrest Second Suspect

HARTFORD — Hartford Police have arrested a second Hartford man who allegedly struck two women that later died from severe injuries.

Police arrested Nathaniel Jefferson on Monday after he turned himself in. Jefferson, 24, was charged with second degree manslaughter, evading responsibility with a death, reckless driving, traveling too fast for conditions, failure to drive in a proper land, and operating a vehicle with a suspended license.

The other man arrested was Lorenzo Ivery, 25, of 135 Dart St., Hartford for making a false statement, hindering prosecution and owner liability.

Jefferson was the operator of the car that  struck the two women who were exiting a taxi on Vine Street.

The victims, Tina Fontanez, 25, of 23 Williams St., Hartford and Catlina Melendez, 24, of 95 Vine St., Hartford were exiting a taxi at the intersection of Bethel St. and Guilford St, when they were hit by Ivery’s car traveling north on Vine St.
A short time later, Ivery reported the vehicle stolen. Based on physical evidence and video surveillance, detectives were able to determine that Ivery was an occupant, but not the driver of the evading vehicle

According to police, officers were dispatched to 95 Vine St. on Jan. 16 at 9:36 p.m. There, they found Fontanez and Melendez  suffering from severe wounds. Both were transported to St. Francis Hospital, where Fontanez was pronounced dead. And Melendez was in critical condition. On Jan. 23, Melendez died.

Responding officers located an unoccupied 2006 silver Acura near the crash scene at Bethel and Guilford.

Jefferson was driving Ivery’s car north on Vine Street. The two pedestrians, who had just exited a cab, were in the travel lanes of Vine St when they were struck, police said. The driver fled the scene and left the car at the intersection of Bethel St. and Guilford St.

Jefferson is currently held on $1 million bond.

Nathaniel Jefferson

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