More charges could follow probe into I-95 fatalities in Darien
STAMFORD -- A State Police probe into the deaths of two men killed while changing a tire off Interstate 95 last fall could lead to more serious charges against a Stamford yoga instructor.
Blanks appeared in state Superior Court in Stamford Monday. One of her defense attorneys, Michael Thomas, said he and prosecutors are waiting for state police to release accident reports and footage from traffic cameras.
"We're going to try and get a hold of it and do our review," Thomas said.
Blanks is charged with two counts of evading responsibility and a single count of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Once complete, the investigation could lead prosecutors to file more serious charges against Blanks, including manslaughter. State police initially charged Blanks with two counts of vehicular manslaughter, but prosecutors later dropped those charges, saying they lacked probable cause.
Attorneys representing the families of Silva, 22, a Stamford resident and Greenwich High School graduate, and Chagas, 19, a Bethel resident, said relatives are eager to see the complete accident report.
"It's difficult to wait and keep waiting, but everyone knows this is the best way to move forward," Mendes said.
"I concur with the decisions of the state's attorney to do the investigation now rather than later so the proper charges are considered," Bloss said. "The prosecutor has the ability to increase the charges when evidence comes to their attention and warrants it. I believe he is quite properly trying to get his questions answered before he decides which charges to proceed with."
Silva and Chagas were on the shoulder changing a tire for a friend, headlights and emergency flashers on, just before 2:30 a.m. Oct. 16 when an SUV hit them, police said. Witnesses told police the car then fled. Minutes later, Darien police found Blanks' black Lincoln Navigator just north of Exit 10. She was arrested and held on $250,000 bond.
She is due back in court March 9.