New Milford police arrest 2 people, including unlicensed teen, in fatal pedestrian hit-and-run

Police said it's the car that slammed into a 61-year-old man from Danbury as he crossed Route 7 near Old State Road around 5:10 p.m. on Nov. 8. Galo Rafael Guaman, known to friends as Don Rafael, died at the scene. The car never stopped but left pieces behind, according to police.

Marissa Alter

Jul 20, 2023, 3:51 PM

Updated 273 days ago

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Two people, including an unlicensed 17-year-old, are now charged in a hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian in New Milford last year.
The police department’s impound lot currently includes a black Ford Fusion, with a cross hanging from the mirror and damage to its front end. Police said it's the car that slammed into a 61-year-old man from Danbury as he crossed Route 7 near Old State Road around 5:10 p.m. on Nov. 8. Galo Rafael Guaman, known to friends as Don Rafael, died at the scene. The car never stopped but left pieces behind, according to police.
“We were able to go to our local Ford dealership to match the parts and get a make and model of a suspected motor vehicle. Using our computer system, we found local vehicles and started our search there and located the vehicle here in New Milford with the matching damage,” Lt. Lee Grabner told News 12.
Police said the car led them to Gorete Pereira, 44, who was a passenger that evening.
“She was instructing a 17-year-old male, who's a juvenile, who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash. He was not a licensed driver at the time, so as an adult in the vehicle, she was considered to be in control of the vehicle and teaching at the time of the crash,” Grabner said, adding he couldn’t comment on the relationship between the two because the driver was a juvenile.
Police arrested Pereira on charges of criminal liability for acts of another/evading responsibility, along with several motor vehicle offenses including operating an unregistered vehicle and insufficient insurance. The driver faces a charge of evading responsibility and his own motor vehicle offenses.
Grabner said they weren't found to be at fault for the crash because Guaman crossed a multilane state road with no crosswalk when it was dark.
News 12 spoke with Guaman's close friend after his death. “He would, you know, give me advice about life,” said Jeremy Llivicura at the time. Llivicura said Guaman took the bus to New Milford for work every day, and the stop was right by the crash site. Now, he and other loved ones have some answers.
“I hope it helps to bring some closure to the family and friends of the victim,” Grabner said. “It’s always our goal to identify those responsible in a crash like this. We just wish that they had stayed at the scene to provide assistance to that victim and work with police instead of causing all these extra problems.”
Pereira was released on a $25,000 bond and will go before a judge at Torrington Superior Court on Aug. 1. The driver will be arraigned there on that day, as well. Grabner said that despite being 17, he'll face charges as an adult because of the state statutes involved.


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