WOLCOTT, CT – An investigation revealed an off-duty Connecticut state trooper was intoxicated and speeding at the time of a deadly crash in Wolcott.
In February, Trooper Danielle Miller, 27, was killed in a head-on crash on Route 69 in town. She was off-duty at the time.
“It’s a very tragic occurrence for everyone involved. It affected the whole community,” said Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens.
The investigation into what caused the crash has been ongoing.
On Monday, police released new details about the crash, saying Trooper Miller’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.24, which is three times the legal limit.
She was also reportedly traveling well above the speed limit prior to the crash with the pick-up truck.
Stephens said, “16 seconds before the accident, the accelerator pedal was at 100% and the speed was increasing. 6 seconds, the speed was increasing to 73 MPH when the vehicle began releasing… 4.6 seconds prior, maximum speed of 79 MPH was reached.”
The last recorded speed in Trooper Miller’s cruiser was 57 mph, higher than the speed limit.
Stephens said she crossed into the lane of the other driver, 30-year-old Aric Rivkin.
“He has nothing to do with this accident. He was trying to avoid being hit, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Stephens said.
He suffered minor injuries. Police said no charges are being filed and the case is now closed.
Police said Trooper Miller was off-duty at the time of the crash and was coming from her house, which is about a half mile away from the crash site.
Chief Stephens said she was drinking at a winery and a restaurant before the crash, but there was no indication she was drunk. She was home to feed her dog and was there for several hours before leaving later that night.
“There’s a lot of things we needed to find out about, where was the trooper going? What was she doing that day? And what did he other operator do? As we started putting that together, everything started coming through,” said Naugatuck Police Lt. Bryan Cammarata.
The Naugatuck Valley Collision Investigation team took over the investigation. It’s unclear where she was going when the deadly crash took place.
Trooper Miller was assigned to Troop L in Litchfield and was a member of the 124th training troop.
She graduated from the Connecticut State Police Academy in 2014.
On Monday, CT State Police issued a statement that 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. There is no familial relationship between Trooper Danielle Miller and Trooper First Class Kevin Miller who passed away in the line of duty as the result of a motor vehicle accident on I-84 in Tolland on March 29, 2018.”