Exclusive: Video shows crash that led to state lawmaker’s arrest

The video shows state Rep. Robin Comey’s vehicle hitting a parked car, then flipping onto a vehicle driving the opposite direction, just blocks from the state Capitol.

John Craven

Apr 5, 2023, 5:14 PM

Updated 372 days ago

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A newly released video shows the crash that led to a state lawmaker’s drunk driving arrest last month. The video shows state Rep. Robin Comey’s vehicle hitting a parked car, then flipping onto a vehicle driving the opposite direction, just blocks from the state Capitol.
The crash was captured on a nearby security camera. It happened on March 16, along a busy stretch of Capitol Avenue surrounded by restaurants and bars.
According to a Hartford Police crash report, the other driver “felt pain to his chest as a result of the collision ... but declined further medical attention.”
A separate police report said the Branford Democrat “reeked of alcoholic beverages” and registered a .114 blood alcohol level – nearly twice the legal limit. Body camera video shows Comey struggling to explain how the crash happened and failing three field sobriety tests before being arrested.
“It was really difficult to watch,” said Amber Binford, who lives across the street. “She could barely stand on her own two feet.”
Before the crash, Comey was at Red Rock Tavern with three other lawmakers – fellow Democrats Anne Hughes of Easton, Lucy Dathan of Norwalk and Kerry Wood of Rocky Hill. None have commented publicly.
Comey has apologized and entered alcohol treatment. Her attorney, Chuck Tiernan, said Wednesday that Comey plans on returning to the state Capitol this legislative session. But it’s not clear when that might happen, or if Comey will regain her committee assignments.
“I'm hopeful, but it's going to be on her timetable,” House Speaker Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said last week. “And we'll have a conversation if, and when, that time comes.”
No one, including Republicans, has called for Comey to resign. Last week, Gov. Ned Lamont said she should stay in the legislature.
“She's taking her health seriously and getting treatment as necessary and doing the right thing,” he said.
But this isn't Comey's first incident involving alcohol. Two years ago, she slurred her words on the House floor, leading to national exposure on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
After that incident, Comey issued a statement: “This was due to several factors, including anxiety, exhaustion, and, regrettably, the wine I had with dinner. In an abundance of caution, I did not drive home and remained in Hartford until the following morning. This type of behavior is not typical for me.”
At the time, Ritter also reprimanded other lawmakers for drinking on the job. Due to COVID restrictions, most lawmakers were voting from their offices or other parts of the Capitol complex.
Comey will be arraigned on May 5. She hasn't decided whether to plead guilty or not guilty, according to Tiernan.


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