New Update: Wilton Man Charged With Manslaughter In Hit-Run Death Of Beloved Norwalk Employee

This story has been updated.

James O’Byrne

James O’Byrne

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

A Fairfield County man has been charged with manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of a 59-year-old woman who was a passenger on a motorcycle.

The crash took in Norwalk on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at the intersection of East Rocks Road and Bayne Street.

Arriving officers found a motorcycle struck by an evading vehicle, said Lt. Tomasz Podgorski of the Norwalk Police.

The operator and passenger of the motorcycle were transported to Norwalk Hospital with significant injuries. The passenger, Dawn Kravarik of Norwalk, was pronounced dead at Norwalk Hospital, Podgorski said. 

According to Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, Kravarik had worked for the city for 36 years as an accounting clerk at the Norwalk Public Library.

Rilling said Kravarik was known as a compassionate and kind employee who always put her community first through her decades of service to the library. 

The Norwalk Police Detective Bureau assumed the investigation and worked alongside Officers of the Norwalk Police Crash Reconstruction Unit who interviewed victims and witnesses, collected evidence, and executed search warrants to identify the operator of the evading vehicle.

As a result of their investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for the operator of the evading vehicle, James O’Byrne, age 36, of Wilton.

O’Byrne was arrested at the Norwalk Police Department on Sunday, Nov. 12, and charged with:

  • Manslaughter in the second degree
  • Assault in the second degree
  • Reckless driving
  • Evading responsibility
  • Operation of a motor vehicle under suspension
  • Failure to insure a vehicle 
  • Operation of an unregistered motor vehicle

He is being held on a $1 million bond. 

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