Driver Accused in Drunken Hit-and-Run in Durham Appears in Court

A West Haven woman accused of driving drunk and hitting a pedestrian who was coming home from the Durham Fair appeared in court Monday and is scheduled to lose her license later this week, officials said.

Deborah Conradi, 53, of West Haven, is facing several charges, including driving under the influence and assault, after she hit 24-year-old Julia Rorke, of Guilford, at the intersection of Routes 17 and 79 in Durham around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, according to state police.

Rorke was walking southbound on Route 17 when Conradi's car hit her, state police said. The impact of the crash threw Rorke about 30 feet into the woods.

She was taken to Middlesex Hospital by ambulance, then airlifted to Hartford Hospital for treatment. Rorke's family said she suffered head trauma, but is home recovering. 

Police said Conradi kept driving after the crash. Other drivers intervened and forced her to stop about a mile and a half from the crash scene.

Officials said on Monday that Conradi has no criminal record, but her driving record is so poor that she is scheduled to lose her license on Oct. 2. Conradi has been previously charged with motor vehicle infractions and has already gone through driver retraining.

She has been ordered not to drive after posting bail.

State police charged Conradi with driving under the influence, assault, evading responsibility and failure to maintain a lane.

She is due back in court on Nov. 3 and is being represented by a public defender.

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