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    Tuesday, June 18, 2024

    Police: Branford woman, 96, killed after intoxicated driver ran stop sign in Griswold

    Griswold ― A Bozrah man is facing multiple charges after state police said he was intoxicated Sunday when he ran a stop sign and collided with another vehicle, killing a Branford woman.

    State police identified the woman who died as Charlotte DeGrado. She was days shy of her 97th birthday.

    Police said the driver who caused the crash was identified as Franklin Barry Post, 35, of Bozrah. He was charged with evading the scene with injury and driving under the influence.

    He was also charged with possession with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance, interfering and violating conditions of release.

    Post appeared Monday via video from his hospital bed in state Superior Court in Norwich, where a judge increased his bond to $1.5 million. He had initially been held on $1 million bond.

    The judge, Tamar R Birckhead, cited the seriousness of the offense, the number and seriousness of his pending charges in other cases and his criminal history and record of failing to comply with probation requirements.

    According to the state judicial department data base, Post has 10 convictions for violation of probation, four for failure to appear in court and individual convictions for burglary, larceny, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and other charges over the past eight years.

    Post indicated Monday he would not be able to post the $1.5 million bond.

    If he does post bond, Birckhead ordered that he comply with stringent pretrial conditions, including GPS monitoring and 24/7 lockdown.

    Post at one point asked the judge what the 24/7 lockdown would entail. Birckhead explained it would mean he would be unable to leave home.

    The bail commissioner, Lindsay Hale, suggested a bond of $500,000. She noted Post is not working and is unable to post any significant bond.

    Sarah Bowman, the state's prosecutor, recommended leaving the bond amount at $1 million. Post's public defender did not take a position on bond, but asked for an amount that was reasonable.

    The crash occurred around 4:45 p.m. Sunday on Taylor Hill Road near Rubino's Full Circle restaurant in Griswold, according to an investigation report in Post's court file.

    Post was driving an Audi and failed to stop at a four-way intersection state police said. The vehicle collided with an SUV, in which DeGrado was riding as a passenger, the report said.

    State troopers found a gold Audi in the middle of the intersection with heavy front-end damage, according to the report. The driver's door was left open and the car was empty, the report said.

    Police found DeGrado inside the other vehicle, a white GMC Acadia SUV, the report said. The vehicle's airbags had deployed, state police noted.

    DeGrado, who was sitting in the back seat, reported severe back pain to the responding state troopers, but was conscious and alert at the scene. She was taken to the hospital where she later died, the report said.

    The driver of the vehicle, DeGrado's son-in-law, told troopers he had been heading west on Oakville Road and stopped at the stop sign at the four-way intersection with Taylor Hill Road. As he continued through the intersection "an unknown vehicle crashed into the side of his vehicle at a high rate of speed," the report stated. The driver told police it was unclear what happened afterward, because the SUV's airbags had deployed.

    When police looked inside the Audi, they found a knife, marijuana paraphernalia, unopened alcoholic drinks, prescription drugs for Post, as well as a pill bottle "containing an assortment of small blue oval shaped pills."

    Post was later taken into custody after state police recognized him from surveillance video, which depicted him unsteadily walking away from the crash site, the report said.

    He was taken into custody after police found him in the woods behind an apartment complex off East Main Street in Jewett City, the report said.

    State police noted in the report. Post had "tampered with" his court-ordered ankle monitor, rendering the device inoperable. The plates affixed to the Audi also came back to a Nissan Rogue registered to an owner in Norwich.

    State police apprehended one other occupant of the Audi who had fled from the car, the report said. It was unclear if he was also facing charges. The report noted the man asked for medical attention for minor injuries.

    DeGrado's daughter sustained minor injuries in the crash and was also hospitalized, the report said.

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