Town, Police Sued for SUV vs. Cyclist Collision

A New Canaan man has sued the town in connection with a motor vehicle collision from two summers ago. According to a complaint filed May 23 in state Superior Court, plaintiff Steven Whitaker had been riding a bicycle on South Avenue at about 9 p.m. on June 27, 2022 (a Monday) when he was struck by a police vehicle exiting the department’s lot. “The collision was caused by the negligence and carelessness of the defendant,” attorney Jeffrey D. Lynch of Woodbridge-based Perkins and Associates said in the complaint. 

The officer “failed to grant the right of way” or “keep his vehicle under proper and reasonable control,” the complaint said. 

The suit names a police officer and the town as defendants. Whitaker sustained “closed head,” hip and “cervical spine” injuries, as well as a “left hip labral tear” and emotional distress, the complaint said. The officer “failed to keep a proper and reasonable lookout for other bicyclists,” “failed to apply his brakes in time to avoid the collision,” “failed to turn his vehicle so as to avoid the collision,” “failed to sound his horn or flash his lights to warn of the impending collision” and violated state driving laws by failing to grant the right-of-way, the complaint said. 

“As a result of these injuries, the plaintiff has experienced, and may experience in the future, pain and suffering,” it said. Wins 7 ‘Excellence in Journalism’ Awards

Local news website won seven “Excellence in Journalism” awards from the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Woodbridge-based organization announced last week. The awards, for work published in 2023 by columnist Laura Ault, sportswriter Donovan West and editor Michael Dinan, covered a wide range of categories within the hyperlocal space:

Laura Ault

General Column, 2nd place — Who Knew? And Then, There Was Pizza
Humorous Column, 2nd place — Who Knew: A Beginner’s Guide to Winged New Canaan

Donovan West

Sports Feature, 1st place — ‘A Culture of Belonging and Hard Work’: NCHS Girls Cross-Country Wins Another State Championship
Sports Feature, 2nd place — ‘I Feel Very Blessed’: NCHS ‘16 Grad Lucas Niang Wins Super Bowl with KC Chiefs

Michael Dinan

Feature Story, 1st place — ‘It Was Supposed To Be You’: NCHS Grad Becomes Mom to ‘Safe Haven’ Baby 
Editorial, 1st place — ‘Checks and Balances’ at Town Hall
Podcasting, 1st place — Podcast: Moving the 1913 Library Building 

More than 50 Connecticut publications and broadcast stations submitted more than 700 entries across five divisions in 30-plus categories, according to the SPJ. 

“The contest supports the mission of CTSPJ as our biggest fundraiser,” SPJ Treasurer and Contest Committee Chair Martha Shanahan said in a June 28 press release. “Thanks to the entry fees, we give out thousands of dollars in scholarships to journalism students in or from Connecticut each year, and support other efforts such as the Legal Defense Fund, CCFOI and CFOG.”

A New Canaan resident, Ault is a writer, creative director and creator of/sole contributor to the monthly “Who Knew?” column on the New Canaanite.

New Canaan Rams Football Golf Tournament & Dinner Set for July 22 [Q&A]

Coming off its second consecutive CIAC State Championship, the New Canaan Rams football team is already setting its sights on a three-peat. While most of the preparation comes on the field and in the film room there are significant contributions outside of the staff and players which keep the Rams at the top of the heap year-after-year. One of the most important of these efforts is the New Canaan Football Golf Tournament and Touchdown Dinner. This year’s event, held on July 22nd at the Country Club of New Canaan, marks the silver anniversary of the outing – we took some time to talk to New Canaan Football Head Coach Lou Marinelli about the tournament and dinner and also discussed the importance of community involvement. New Canaanite: Coach, talk to me a little bit about the origins of the New Canaan Football Association Golf Tournament.

Did You Hear … ?

New Canaan Police are investigating the theft of a moped from the train station on Elm Street, reported at 6:20 p.m. Monday. ***

Tickets will go very fast: Community Day 2024 at The Glass House—free for New Canaan residents—will be held Thursday, July 11. Check back here for details on reserving your spot using the code ‘NCDAY2024’. ***

Police at 3:14 p.m. Monday received a report of a package containing an iPhone stolen from the front steps of a Weeburn Drive home. ***

The Town Players of New Canaan and Open Arts Alliance of Greenwich are partnering to put on two performances of “Willy Wonka KIDS”—featuring New Canaan residents Teddy and Wesley Benenson as well as Miles and Izzy Langrick, joined by other students from Greenwich, Darien, Stamford, and Norwalk—at 3 and 5 p.m. Friday at the Powerhouse Theatre in Waveny.