State Police: Drunk driver arrested for knocking over female combat veteran statue in Sprague

New London

SPRAGUE, Conn. (WTNH) — A Vernon man was arrested for driving under the influence after allegedly crashing into a statue of a female combat veteran in Sprague and knocking it over on Monday night.

Connecticut State Police say that at around 8:48 p.m., 27-year-old Tyler James Gaudette was driving his vehicle westbound on Main Street when he failed to make a complete stop at an intersection and took a left turn. While turning, Gaudette drove off the roadway, over the sidewalk, over a stone wall, and then through a granite/stone bench.

WEB EXTRA: Sunday, Police released video surveillance of Gaudette plowing into the monument Monday night

This led him to collide with a bronze statue of a female solider and dislodge it from the stone pavers and into the grass. The statue, which was put in place to pay homage to a fallen solider in the town’s War Memorial Park, was damaged in the collision.

Related: Town of Sprague unveils first statue honoring female military members in the state

Sprague First Selectman Cheryl A. Blanchard tells News 8 that the statue was removed and will be repaired.

Gaudette was not injured in the crash but an investigation revealed that he was operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. He was also found with several controlled substance pills.

Gaudette was charged with traveling too fast, operating under the influence, failure to obey a stop sign, and possession of a controlled substance. He was held on $1,500 bond and will appear in court on Dec. 17.

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