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Branford deputy fire marshal had been drinking before fatal hit-and-run: Sources

The former deputy fire marshal came forward just days after the incident in October but was not arrested

NORTH BRANFORD, Conn — Branford's Deputy Fire Marshal, Amanda Mark, who is the town's first female career firefighter, is now on paid leave following her Tuesday arrest following a deadly hit & run in North Branford last October.

FOX61 learned exclusively that the 36-year-old came forward within a couple of days of the deadly hit and run. So why did it take nearly seven months for her to be arrested?

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Near a sharp curve, along Branford Road, near Rose Orchards Farm, 52-year-old Douglas Clark was struck and killed walking home by a hit & run driver after midnight on October 16. Police said they knew pretty quickly who was responsible: Amanda Mark.

"We made a seizure of the vehicle shortly thereafter approximately about a week after," said North Branford's Deputy Police Chief James Lovelace.

But Mark, who is a firefighter, and paramedic wasn't arrested until Tuesday.

"These investigations take a long period of time and there's a lot of detail and forensic evidence and the processing of that evidence," Lovelace told FOX61 exclusively.

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The arrest warrant has not been released publicly yet, but sources tell FOX61 Mark came forward within a couple of days of the fatal hit & run, writing in a statement that she thought she hit an animal or trash can and chose not to stop.

Mark's current lawyer, Willie Dow, declined comment Wednesday. But sources added that Mark had been drinking at a Branford bar and was on her way home when she allegedly struck and killed Clark. Police would not confirm these details.

"There was evidence not at that specific location but at other locations that we developed through our investigation," Lovelace said. 

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Sources also said that upon learning a man died, Mark reached out to an attorney whose life she had saved as a paramedic for legal advice, and that started the process of her coming forward.

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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