Alleged drunk driver in court in Durham fair hit & run

Deborah Conradi

DURHAM, Conn. (WTNH)– There was a court hearing for the Bridgeport woman accused of a drunk driving hit and run crash outside the Durham Fair. State police say the woman struck and injured a 24-year-old woman Saturday night.

Troopers say Deborah Conradi then drove for more than a mile before eventually being tracked down by other drivers who saw what happened. In front of a Middletown Superior court judge Monday, 53-year-old Conradi stood silently listening to the judge.

It was Saturday night when police say the Bridgeport woman struck and injured 24-year-old Julia Rorke of Guilford on the shoulder of the road, near the intersection of routes 17 and 79. According to the police report, a driver behind the suspect told the arresting officer that Conradi was driving ‘without her headlights illuminated, swerving to the right and striking Rorke. Conradi allegedly drove more more than a mile after the crash before eventually being boxed in by other drivers who saw what happened.

Julia Rourke
Julia Rorke

Original Story: Woman charged w/ DUI in hit & run near Durham fair

Fair goers who News 8 talked to were ‘troubled’ by the incident.

“Hearing something like that makes me not want to walk anymore, that’s crazy,” said Nina Piscitello, Branford.

Conradi told the arresting officer that she had not had any drinks at the fair but had a ‘couple of beers’ before leaving her home five and a half hours before the crash. Monday, she faces several charges that include DUI, evading responsibility, assault with a motor vehicle, failure to travel in the proper lane.

“I think people would think twice about drinking and driving if they saw a checkpoint in the area or if they had signs up for that,” said Henry Pond, Branford.

Rorke is said to be recovering at home Monday night. Meantime, the woman facing charges in the crash that left her injured is scheduled to be back in court in November and her driver’s license has been suspended.

And News 8 talked to the state police about security outside the Durham Fair and if there’s a need to make changes in the future. They said that both state and local officers are posted at the busiest intersections outside of the fair, noting that this weekend’s incident happened on the shoulder of a road.

State police are waiting for a complete investigation of Saturday night’s accident before deciding if any changes need to be made for next year.

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