Thea Digiammerino

State Trooper Involved in Serious Southbury Crash in September Suspended

In a lawsuit brought by the two women involved in the crash, Sgt. John McDonald is accused of drunk driving

A Connecticut state trooper who was involved in a September crash in Southbury that injured a mother and daughter has been suspended from the department.

Connecticut State Police said Thursday that Sgt. John McDonald has been suspended in connection with the September 25 crash. A criminal investigation, accident investigation and internal investigation are ongoing.

"It was a preliminary investigation. a conversation between the commissioner and the investigators and the legal folks and suffice to say it was conduct of great concern to the commissioner," explained Brian Foley, assistant to the commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

McDonald has been suspended administratively, which means his police powers have been stripped but he is still receiving pay, according to Foley. His police identification and firearm have been taken.

In a lawsuit brought by the two women involved in the crash, McDonald is accused of drunken driving.  NBC Connecticut reached out to the attorney for those women Thursday night, but did not hear back.

McDonald was off-duty in his unmarked police car when he didn’t stop at a stop sign, crashing into a car traveling on Route 188, according to police.

Police are investigating if McDonald had been drinking at a trooper retirement party before the crash. They said McDonald never took a blood alcohol test.

In body cam video released last month, the supervisor is heard talking with another sergeant on scene about writing up the crash. They make mention of a "1-3” – which is the code for drunken driving. 

"We owe it to everyone involved here -- the family, the victims, the community, and the troopers to do a complete and thorough and professional investigation, and as the facts avail themselves at the same time we have to be transparent and show the public that we hold our employees accountable," Foley said.

State police did not provide any other updates about the investigation Thursday.

The Connecticut State Police Union declined to comment.

NBC Connecticut attempted to contact McDonald for comment but we have not heard back.

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