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Sunday, June 26, 2022
Generic Crime
Generic Crime

Florida Highway Patrol arrested a Trenton, Florida, man Saturday on a charge of drinking and driving when he drove a car into a utility pole.

Matthew Edward Connelly

Matthew Edward Connelly

Matthew Edward Connelly, 57, was driving east near the 28000 block of W. Newberry Road at about 10:30 p.m. when traffic in front of him began to slow down, according to an arrest report. FHP said Connelly didn’t see the traffic halting and swerved to avoid crashing into the car in front of him.

He drove off the road and into the other lane of traffic, hitting a utility pole in the right shoulder, according to the report.

A responding trooper noticed Connelly smelled like alcohol and had red, watery eyes, according to the report. He also performed poorly on field sobriety exercises, according to the responding officer.

When asked, he refused to give a sample of his breath, FHP said.

While being taken to jail, Connelly complained of neck pain and breathing problems, according to the report, and he banged his head against the back of his seat in the patrol car as he gasped for air.

When Alachua Fire Rescue arrived, Connelly would not cooperate with the paramedics, according to the report. FHP and paramedics had to pull him from the back of the patrol car.

He was taken to North Florida Regional Medical Center before he was taken to the Alachua County Jail.

Police arrested Connelly on charges of driving under the influence and causing damage. He was released from jail on his own recognizance Monday afternoon.

Connelly could not be reached for comment.

Contact Meryl Kornfield at and follow her on Twitter at @MerylKornfield

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