Windham Police Officer Sues Town for Injuries

March 27, 2015
 

by Barbara O’Brien

Just over three years ago, Windham Police Officer Brian Landry was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Fellows Road, in which he sustained injuries that have prevented him from returning to duty.  Landry blames the town for failing to equip the police cruiser he was driving with the same traffic signal control system that is used by fire departments.  As a result, Landry has filed a lawsuit in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Officer Landry was following behind a Windham fire truck on March 12, 2012, when the police cruiser he was operating was struck by a motorist driving westbound on Route 111.  At the time of the incident, Landry was attempting to cross the Fellows Road/Route 111 intersection.  As a result of the collision, the cruiser was pushed across the intersection and into an adjacent utility pole.

Landry’s attorney, Mark Wiseman, stated that Windham equips some emergency vehicles, such as fire trucks, with traffic control devices, but not police cruisers.  Wiseman noted in the legal filing that, “At the time of the collision, the fire truck that Mr. Landry was following had passed through the intersection, using its traffic signal preemption device to temporarily override the traffic control signal at the intersection.”  According to Wiseman, after the fire truck passed through the intersection, the traffic light returned to its normal status, which gave the green light to traffic traveling westward on Route 111, causing the police cruiser driven by Landry to be struck by the oncoming car.

Landry’s lawsuit also claims that the Town of Windham failed to properly maintain the traffic control system, which was designed, in part, to protect the general public from being injured.

Wiseman said that Landry suffered permanent injuries from the crash, negatively affecting his earning potential, as well as his enjoyment of life.  The lawsuit against Windham seeks unspecified damages for injuries Landry suffered as a result of the incident.  Landry is also asking that the town pay all legal fees associated with the lawsuit.

During the Windham Selectmen’s meeting on March 23, Town Administrator David Sullivan commented that the issue would be discussed in non-public later that evening.  The Town of Windham is required to respond to Landry’s lawsuit within 30 days of the filing.