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Couple Sues Hartford After Car Crash

A Bloomfield couple has filed a lawsuit against the city of Hartford and one of its police officers for injuries sustained during a 2009 collision between their car and a vehicle fleeing police. The crash occurred at Coventry and East Harold streets, the suit said.

Oraine Ridley, 53, and his wife Lorine, 56, of 17 Linwood Ave., were severely injured in the crash on Sept. 17, 2009, at Coventry and East Harold Streets, the suit alleges. The couple is seeking over $15,000 in damages.

The lawsuit contends that the police officer violated both department and state procedures when he pursued at excessive speeds two people in a fleeing car through a densely populated area. The car ignored traffic lights.

The lawsuit alleges that the city police officer persisted in the chase even after a supervisor called off the pursuit. The vehicle being pursued then struck the Ridley’s car.

Lorine Ridley suffered a lacerated spleen and liver, rib and spinal fractures, and muscle and nerve damage that probably caused permanent disability, the suit says. Her husband, Oraine, sustained damage to his kidneys and a spinal fracture, according to the suit.

A spokeswoman for the police department, Nancy Mulroy, said that a department investigation cleared police Officer Benjamin R. Lee of any wrongdoing. The department found that he observed all of its rules and regulations. Two suspects in the fleeing vehicle were arrested.

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