Fatal crash probe: State trooper was DUI, speeding

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An off-duty Connecticut state trooper, who was killed in a Wolcott head-on crash in February was intoxicated and speeding, an investigation has revealed.

Trooper Danielle Miller, 27, had a blood alcohol content at the time of the crash of .24, which is three times the legal limit.

The report said Miller’s cruiser was going 79 mph seconds before the crash and 57 mph when her Crown Victoria cruiser smashed into a 2004 Ford pickup on Route 69 on Saturday, Feb. 3.

Both drivers were taken to local hospitals for injuries sustained in the crash, police said. Miller later died at the hospital. The driver of the pickup truck was treated and released from the hospital

In a statement Monday, State Police said “We are saddened by the emerging details of the off-duty accident involving Trooper Danielle Miller on February 3, 2018. The Wolcott Police Department investigation report revealed that Trooper Miller sustained fatal injuries while operating the vehicle at a high speed and under the influence of alcohol. Her car struck an oncoming vehicle. Fortunately, that driver was not seriously injured.

“As an agency, we mourn Trooper Miller’s passing. We also maintain a zero tolerance policy with respect to operating a state vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“Trooper Miller’s death serves as a painful reminder of the dangers and the devastating consequences of impaired driving. The Connecticut State Police, as are all law enforcement agencies, steadfast in their efforts to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents along our roadways.”

The report was released by Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens during a press conference on Monday morning.

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“We all make mistakes in life that have consequences,” Stephens said. “Unfortunately, Trooper Miller made a mistake, which she paid for dearly with her life. It’s very sad …. it’s a very tragic occurrence for everyone involved.”

Stephens said the driver of the pickup attempted to avoid Miller’s cruiser. “He had nothing to do with the accident. He saw the trooper’s car in his lane and tried to avoid it.”

He said since the accident there has been talk of a police cover-up or blaming the driver of the pickup truck.

“The poor kid had to move out of town. You know, people were calling him names, cop killer, things like that. He was just a victim in this.”

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Stephens said Waterbury State Attorney Maureen Platt had reviewed the report, agreed with its findings and “the case is now closed.”

Miller, who graduated from the Connecticut State Police Academy on Dec. 11, 2014, was assigned to Troop L in Litchfield.

Miller, who was born in New Britain and in Wolcott, is survived by her parents, maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and her dog, Louie, according to her obituary with DellaVecchia Funeral Home .

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