Trooper charged in DUI crash, to appear in court today

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MIDDLETOWN — A suspended State Police trooper, who was arrested after a DUI accident that injured two people, will appear in court on Monday.

Sgt. John McDonald, of the Western District Major Crimes Unit out of Southbury, was charged with driving under the influence and second-degree assault with a motor vehicle after the Sept, 25 accident,.He was also charged with reckless driving and failure to obey a stop sign.

McDonald has been suspended from duty – with pay – since Nov. 14, pending an investigation by officials into the crash.

According to his arrest warrant, McDonald bout eight drinks at a colleague’s retirement party at an Oxford brewery and appeared “hammered” later that night after crashing into a woman and her daughter.

Witnesses of the crash described McDonald as “hammered” and swaying back and forth in the middle of the roadway when the first officers arrived at the scene, according to the warrant.

Video from the Black Hog Brewery in Oxford where the retirement party was held showed McDonald drinking at least eight alcoholic beverages within about three hours, the warrant said.

After leaving the party, McDonald ran a stop sign at the intersection of Airport Road and Route 188 in Southbury, police said.

He struck the side of another car around 7:30 p.m. that night, according to the accident report. The occupants of the other vehicle, Lisa Conroy, and her 19-year-old daughter Madison Conroy, were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury.

McDonald was not given a Breathalyzer at the scene, because he claimed to be injured and was transported to a Waterbury hospital, police said.

He left the hospital before staff could take blood tests, which might have revealed his blood alcohol content, reports said.

A lawsuit has since been filed on behalf of the two women that alleges McDonald had been drinking at the Black Hog Brewery shortly before the collision.

“…He knowingly drove while under the influence of intoxicating liquors or with an elevated blood-alcohol content at a high rate of speed and disregarded a stop sign,” the suit, filed Oct. 14, claims.

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