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    Thursday, June 20, 2024

    Social media posts allegedly show Conn. man drinking before fatal wrong-way crash

    A Milford man is facing manslaughter charges in connection with a fatal wrong-way crash in Danbury last fall after investigators allegedly found social media posts of him drinking at multiple bars shortly before the crash.

    Charles Connors, 34, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with second-degree manslaughter, reckless endangerment, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, operating under the influence and speeding, according to the Connecticut State Police.

    The charges stem from a head-on crash that left a 25-year-old Danbury woman dead in September 2023.

    At 1:53 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2023, troopers responded to reports of a head-on crash just north of an on-ramp near exit 7 on Route 7 South in Danbury. State police found a gray Honda Accord and a black Dodge Challenger that had collided in the left lane, state police said in the warrant affidavit.

    The Honda driver, identified as Danielle Dempsey of Danbury, was found unresponsive in her vehicle and taken to Danbury Hospital, where she was pronounced dead less than an hour later, state police said.

    Connors, who was driving the Dodge, was also found unconscious and entrapped in his vehicle. He was extricated and taken to the same hospital with serious injuries, state police said.

    Connors was first interviewed by troopers in a Danbury hospital room the night of the crash and allegedly showed signs of intoxication. According to a warrant affidavit for his arrest, Connors allegedly told a state trooper “I don’t drink or drive or anything like that,” before being asked about his alcohol intake.

    “Trust me I’m a sober type of person,” he allegedly told the trooper. Toxicology reports later showed that Connors’ blood alcohol content that night was well beyond the state limit, at .197, the warrant affidavit said.

    A sobriety test was not performed at the hospital due to Connors’ injuries, but a trooper allegedly smelled alcohol on his breath and noticed that his speech was slurred and delayed, according to the warrant affidavit.

    A person who was not named in the warrant affidavit showed police several Instagram stories from an account with the username “chuckconnors203,” later reportedly linked to Connors. The account allegedly had videos and photos posted hours before the crash.

    There were allegedly five posts showing Connors “at multiple bars, with what appeared to be alcoholic beverages,” according to the warrant affidavit.

    In the last video posted, a person who appeared to be Connors was talking about “taking shots,” the warrant affidavit said.

    A trooper investigating the crash went to a Norwalk bar that police believed Connors was at before the crash, where staff agreed to show police receipts from Connors’ purchases that night, which reportedly included several tequila shots and two margaritas, according to the warrant affidavit.

    Investigators also met with an eyewitness who alleged that they were driving on Route 7 the night of the crash just before the Sugar Hollow Road exit when they saw the Dodge driving in the wrong direction, the warrant affidavit said.

    The witness was able to swerve to avoid being struck by Connors, driving into the guardrail. The driver made a U-turn to see where the wrong-way driver went and found the two cars smoking after colliding, according to the warrant affidavit.

    An arrest warrant for Connors was granted on May 7. He was taken into custody by the Milford Police Department and transported to Troop A Southbury on Tuesday, state police said.

    Connors was being held in lieu of a $300,000 bond and was scheduled to be arraigned in Danbury Superior Court on Wednesday.

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