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Ex-officer pleads not guilty to felony driving charges


MANCHESTER - A former Manchester police officer pleaded not guilty this week to charges relating to an October accident on Interstate 93, including felony counts of second-degree assault and reckless conduct.

David Connare, 46, also faces misdemeanor drunken driving and vehicular assault charges for the accident on Oct. 16, when he drove his 2011 Mazda Rove into the back of another southbound vehicle, knocking the other car off the road and into a bridge abutment and breaking a few ribs of the woman who was driving.

Connare waived his formal arraignment scheduled for Friday, filing his plea through defense attorney Eric Wilson on Thursday in Hillsborough County Superior Court.

Wilson would not comment on the case Friday, saying it was still early.

Connare was president of the Manchester Police Patrolman's Association at the time of the crash, which happened just north of the merger with I-293 North/Route 101 West. A grand jury indicted Connare on Dec. 21 on the felonies, mentioning he was driving at an "unreasonably high rate of speed" in both charging documents.

The indictment charging him with second-degree assault alleges that the other driver suffered serious bodily injury including fractured ribs because Connare consumed alcohol and then was speeding on I-93. The reckless conduct indictment alleges he engaged in conduct that placed or may have placed another person in danger of serious bodily injury by driving a motor vehicle, a deadly weapon as defined by state law, in a manner Connare knew to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.

Assistant Merrimack County Attorney George Waldron, the special prosecutor appointed to the case, also charged Connare with the misdemeanors of second-degree assault and driving while intoxicated.

The vehicular assault charge alleges Connare caused serious bodily injury while using a propelled vehicle and causing serious bodily injury by driving at an unreasonably high rate of speed in excess of the posted speed limit.

Documents at Hillsborough County Superior Court on Friday yielded little new information in the case, including how fast Connare was driving or any specifics on what led to the DWI charge. Police have not said whether Connare agreed to be tested for sobriety and there were no blood-alcohol results mentioned in the small court file.

Connare and the other driver were taken by ambulance to Elliot Hospital where they were treated and later released.

Connare resigned from the police force three days after the crash.



dalden@unionleader.com

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