Police believe alcohol was a factor in a single-car crash Monday evening in which a car struck a boulder and flipped several times before landing upside down in a bush.
The crash injured David Connolly, 52, of Anna Maria, who suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and back fractures, according to Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming.
A police report states that just after 7 p.m., Connolly was driving a 2006 BMW SUV northbound on Gulf of Mexico Drive and crossed over the double-yellow line and entered the southbound lane before striking a boulder at 5601 Gulf of Mexico Drive, outside of the Sea Oats condominium.
“He hit the large boulder and proceeded to launch in the air,” Cumming said. “It looks like the vehicle traveled about 152 feet before coming to rest, which indicates a high rate of speed, in my opinion.”
As it rolled, the SUV struck and knocked over a Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) sign before coming to rest on its roof in the garden area of Avignon Villas condominium.
Firefighters extracted Connolly, who was transported to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton via Bayflite.
More than a dozen people who saw or heard the crash gathered at the scene Monday night.
Police wrote they smelled a strong odor of alcohol in the vehicle and found numerous beer cans throughout the vehicle. Because of Connolly’s injuries, police couldn’t conduct field sobriety tests at the scene.
Police cited Connolly for careless driving and are awaiting blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) results. The crash remains under investigation as police await the results of a blood sample taken at the hospital.
Police cleared the scene at 9:41 p.m., approximately two-and-a-half hours after the crash occurred.
Police estimated that Connolly’s vehicle sustained $20,000 in damages. The report also lists $2,000 worth of damage to landscaping and backflow-prevention devices and $300 for the value of the MCAT sign.