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State trooper in court to face drunken driving charges

December 2, 2019 GMT
This image provided by Connecticut State Police shows Connecticut State Police Sgt. John McDonald. A Connecticut woman and her 19-year-old daughter sued McDonald alleging the off-duty state police sergeant was intoxicated when he drove his unmarked cruiser through a stop sign and smashed into their car during Sept. 2019. On Tuesday Nov. 19, 2019, McDonald was charged with drunken driving, assault and other crimes in connection the crash. (Connecticut State Police photo via AP)
This image provided by Connecticut State Police shows Connecticut State Police Sgt. John McDonald. A Connecticut woman and her 19-year-old daughter sued McDonald alleging the off-duty state police sergeant was intoxicated when he drove his unmarked cruiser through a stop sign and smashed into their car during Sept. 2019. On Tuesday Nov. 19, 2019, McDonald was charged with drunken driving, assault and other crimes in connection the crash. (Connecticut State Police photo via AP)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut State Police sergeant charged with drinking heavily at a retirement party for a colleague before injuring two women in an off-duty car crash has made his initial court appearance.

John McDonald was released after his arraignment Monday on charges including drunken driving and assault with a motor vehicle.

Neither he nor his attorney, Robert Britt, addressed the allegations outside of Middletown Superior Court.

Authorities say the 37-year-old McDonald consumed at least eight alcoholic drinks at an Oxford brew pub during the party before the Sept. 25 accident in Southbury.

Troopers say McDonald was driving more than 70 mph and ran a stop sign before crashing into another car, injuring a 52-year-old Middlebury woman and her 19-year-old daughter. They have sued McDonald.

McDonald has been placed on paid leave.