Investigators: Trooper was drunk, speeding in deadly crash

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WOLCOTT -

The off-duty state trooper killed in a head-on car crash earlier this year was drunk and speeding at the time, police say.

The February crash in Wolcott left Trooper Danielle Miller dead, and police now say her blood alcohol content was .24 percent -- three times the legal limit.

"Unfortunately, Trooper Miller made a mistake, which she paid for dearly with her life," said Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens.

According to investigators, she was driving at 79 mph just moments before slamming into a pickup truck in an area where the speed limit is just 40 mph.

It happened Saturday, Feb. 3 on Wolcott Road near Tosun Road. Police say Miller swerved into the pickup driver's lane, where he was unable to avoid a collision with her.

The impact sent both drivers to the hospital, where Miller later died.

Miller lived in Wolcott but worked in Litchfield with Troop L. She was out of uniform but in her police car at the time of the accident.

The regional Naugatuck Valley Collision Investigation Team spent three months looking into the incident. According to Chief Stephens, the Waterbury state's attorney has reviewed the report, agreed with its findings and closed the case.

The other driver has recovered from his injuries but moved out of town because people had blamed him for the crash.

"This poor kid had to move out of town," Stephens said. "People calling him names, cop killer, things like that. He was just a victim in this."

News 12 Connecticut is told that Miller spent the day with friends at a winery and a restaurant, then went home for a while before driving off in her state police cruiser.

"He had nothing to do with this accident," Stephens said. "Trooper Miller was impaired."

State police released a statement mourning Miller's death but also reiterating a zero-tolerance policy toward operating state vehicles while under the influence.

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