Major injuries in crash; driver suspected of DUI

Mad River Union

BIG LAGOON – A New Jersey man was arrested Sunday, April 24 on suspicion of drunk driving after he allowed his car to cross the center line on U.S. Highway 101 near Big Lagoon and smashed into another vehicle.

At about 10:24 p.m. John F. Connelly, 66, of Hewitt, New Jersey, was driving a 2016 Mazda northbound on the highway.  Connell drifted across the center line and collided with a 2012 Ford driven by James Simmons II, 43, of Arcata.
Both Connelly and Simmons suffered major injuries as a result of the crash and were both transported to Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata.

Connelly was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and released at the hospital before being transported by air ambulance to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital.

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