Dubuque County Authorities Won’t Say Why Driver Wasn’t Arrested After Failing Sobriety Tests

By Katie Wiedemann, KCRG-TV9

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Dubuque County authorities aren’t saying why the driver who they say caused a fatal crash and failed a sobriety test hasn’t been arrested.

On August 2nd, a crash near Epworth killed Sean Kenneally , Mitchell Kluesner , Nicholas Kramer and Bryce Wilwert. They were all 14 years old.

Authorities say a pick-up ran a stop sign and struck the Gator the boys were riding in at the intersection of Hartbecke Road and Pleasant Grove Road.

Court documents show the pick-up’s driver, Joe Connolly,24, might have been drunk at the time.

Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Captain Dale Snyder says the reason deputies didn’t arrest Connolly will eventually be public information. But for now, Synder says the Dubuque County Attorney told him not to make any comments or respond to any questions about this case.

Dubuque County Attorney Ralph Potter also did not comment on why Connolly wasn’t arrested.

Potter said, “We aren’t prepared to make a charge yet. We are doing all we can and we’re getting close”

According to information in the search warrant, immediately after the crash Connolly told an Epworth police officer he was driving too fast and failed to stop at the stop sign.

A Dubuque County Sheriff’s deputy says he found a cooler of Busch Light beer in Connolly’s truck. Investigators also found an unsealed bottle of vodka inside the truck. The deputy reportedly smelled alcohol on Connolly’s breath. Connolly told the deputy he had not been drinking that day. Connolly did say he had been drinking the night before. The deputy gave Connolly three field sobriety tests and reported Connolly failed two.

Investigators did give Connolly a blood-alcohol test. The results of that test we’re not listed in the search warrant.

Online court documents show in 2010, Connolly pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge.

Connolly did not return TV-9’s call for comment.

l Comments: (563) 583-9999; katie.wiedemann@kcrg.com

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