Suspended state trooper charged in DUI crash appears in court

Posted: Updated:

A Connecticut state trooper accused in a DUI accident that injured two people made his first appearance before a judge Monday.

Sgt. John McDonald made a brief appearance on charges of assault with a motor vehicle, DUI, reckless driving and failure to obey a stop sign. He didn't enter any pleas and instead had his case continued to Jan. 6.

The crash at the center of the case happened Sept. 25 at Route 188 and Airport Road in Southbury, right after McDonald left a retirement party for a colleague at the Black Hog Brewing Company in Oxford.

According to McDonald's arrest warrant, surveillance video shows him drinking at least eight alcoholic beverages before getting behind the wheel. He was allegedly driving more than 70 mph when he ran a stop sign and plowed into another car carrying a Middlebury woman and her teenage daughter.

Lisa and Madison Conroy both went to a hospital for their injuries.

The first officer to arrive on the scene said she saw McDonald standing in the middle of the road "swaying back and forth while on a cellphone" and that he appeared "injured or drunk."

A witness told police "that guy is definitely hammered, he is not listening to me to stay out of the roadway."

McDonald was not given a field sobriety test because he was hurt. Instead he was taken to a hospital, but he refused treatment so staff never performed any blood work, a warrant says.

He has been suspended with pay since Nov. 14. Along with this criminal case, state police also have an internal affairs investigation underway.


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