By DENISE BUFFA
10:36 AM EST, February 1, 2012
In a chilling emergency call to police, a motorist, shocked after coming upon a horrific crash Jan. 4, reported loudly and succinctly to an emergency dispatcher that East Hartford police officer Todd Lentocha's car had been hit on Route 2 in East Hartford.
"An officer's car has been hit. There's an accident. It's pretty bad. The cop needs an ambulance. He needs medical right away," the motorist says.
Those are the first words in more than 70 audio snippets released by the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to the Courant in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The dispatcher asks the motorist to repeat what he's said.
"There's an officer that has been hit and he's hurt really bad," the motorist said. "He needs an ambulance."
The tapes also reveal that
-- Lentocha, 41, who was on Route 2 helping in an investigation, suffered a severe cut to the back of his head, was unresponsive at the scene, may have sustained a skull fracture and was rushed into an operating room.
-- The other motorist volunteered to have his blood drawn at Hartford Hospital, presumably to test for sobriety. No one has been arrested in the accident.
-- Cops, concerned that it was one of their own, made it a point to go to Hartford Hospital, apparently to show support for the fallen officer.
The following are a few excerpts from the audio recordings made that night, mostly between emergency workers:
"We got a motor vehicle involving an East Hartford police officer. Officer is unresponsive at this time."
"The injured individual, that's one of ours?"
"That's a Roger."
"We have EMS stepping up. He's got a severe laceration to the back of his head."
"Received." ___ ____ ____ ____ ____
"He is breathing, but he's got a bad laceration to the back of his head."
"I guess his car got hit pretty bad from behind, from the way it looks."
"It's very serious. Unknown what his status will be."
"I'm heading over to Hartford Hospital."