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Drunk Driver Kills Bicyclist in East Hartford

East Hartford police have charged a man with driving under the influence and reckless driving after his vehicle struck and killed a bicyclist. Paul Bato, 45, of Manchester, was arrested after the Sept. 1 accident that led to the death of William Laramie. The 56-year-old local resident was riding his bike home from work when Bato’s car hit him. Laramie was taken to Hartford Hospital, but was pronounced dead three hours later.

The accident occurred at 5:21 p.m. at the intersection of Burnside Avenue and Larrabee Street when Laramie was hit by Bato’s red 2011 Corvette. In the moments before the accident, two witnesses saw the Corvette travelling at a high rate of speed, and it passed them on the right.

Bato smelled of alcohol and failed a field sobriety test, almost falling over at one point, according to the arresting officer. Bato’s blood-alcohol content was tested to be as high as 0.189, more than twice the legal limit. Police found further evidence in the car, as a glass containing rum sat in the car’s center console, and a beer was on the floor in the passenger side. Bato’s passenger, Janice Light, wasn’t injured in the crash, and has not been charged.

The pair had been drinking at two Hartford establishments, a strip bar and a tavern, leading up to the crash. Bato has a history of driving under the influence, with two drunk driving convictions in Connecticut, and a DUI arrest in Massachusetts. Police said the investigation is ongoing, and there will likely be further charges which could include manslaughter.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by recklessness or negligence, contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC for personal injury representation. Our Connecticut injury lawyers represent families in wrongful death claims as well.