Cops: Man who hit pedestrian outside of O’Connor’s was drunk
Published 3:24 pm, Monday, August 8, 2016
NEW MILFORD — A night of drinking at O’Connor’s Public House ended differently for two men that left the pub as the bar was closing in the early morning of June 4.
One of the men, Donnie L. Fontaine Jr., appeared in state Superior Court in Bantam last Monday charged with felony second-degree assault with a car, after police say he hit the other man — a pedestrian crossing the street outside of O’Connor’s.
The man who Fontaine hit suffered severe brain injuries, court documents said. As of late June, he was still hospitalized, and could not walk.
Fontaine, 30, was driving the speed limit, 25 miles an hour, on Railroad Street in his black Jeep Grand Cherokee when the man walked into the crosswalk, police said.
There were no parked cars — or other obstructions — that could have hidden the man from Fontaine’s view, police said.
The man, 29, was struck by Fontaine as Fontaine traveled full speed; Fontaine only braked after contact, police said.
After contact, the man was pinned to Fontaine’s hood as the car skidded to a stop for 20 feet, witnesses told police. Inertia took the man another 20 feet, until his body, unmoving, came to a rest on its side, documents said.
Police say they found that Fontaine had a blood-alcohol content of 0.20 — more than twice the legal limit, documents said. Fontaine admitted that he had a few beers and a shot of Southern Comfort before he decided to drive, police said.
The man who Fontaine hit was drunk, too, police said. The 29-year-old had a blood-alcohol content of 0.32 the night he was hit by Fontaine’s Jeep.
Since the accident, and the medically-induced coma that came soon after, the man has been in rehab, documents said. As of June 23, he still couldn’t walk, and continued to have severe neurological problems, documents said.
Fontaine was released from custody on a $10,000 bond. His next court date is Aug. 24.
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