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Ex-officer guilty of felony in I-93 crash
Connare avoided a conviction on a drunken-driving misdemeanor charge, as well as two assault-related charges. The trial was held Monday and Tuesday at Hillsborough County Superior Court-North.
"Any conviction on a Class B felony, it's a major accomplishment. It opens the possibility for major punishment," said Merrimack County Attorney Scott Murray.
The crash took place about 7 p.m. on I-93 southbound, just south of the Exit 6 interchange.
At the time, state police said speed and alcohol were contributing factors. Connare, who was off-duty at the time, drove his Mazda A-3 compact into the rear of a Mazda Tribute SUV. Police said Connare's car pushed the SUV off the road and into a bridge abutment. The driver, Hudson resident Heather O'Regan, suffered fractured ribs.
Procedures call for judges to rule on Class B misdemeanors. Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown rendered the not-guilty verdict on the drunken-driving charge.
"As a tactical matter, if you prosecute a (felony) DWI and you don't prove intoxication, you've got a problem," he said. He said the penalty for a felony DWI conviction is the same as the reckless conduct conviction.
"Obviously, the area where it happened — on an interstate highway — there are serious public safety concerns," he said.
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