Crash Victim Petitions Court for Police Investigation Documents


Scene of motor vehicle vs person crash on Old Stamford Road, Dec. 28, 2022. Credit: Claire A.

An attorney representing a man seriously injured in New Canaan last December is seeking town documents related to the incident.

The victim, a 26-year-old Redding man, was “involved in a tractor/trailer collision on Old Stamford Road” that resulted in “life-threatening and devastating injuries, including but not limited to a traumatic amputation of his left leg,” according to a Petition for Bill of Discovery lodged Nov. 14 by attorney Cindy Robinson of Fairfield-based Robinson Mahony PLLC. 

The town, through the New Canaan Police Department, conducted an investigation and released a preliminary report that has been made public, Robinson said in the Petition. Police in February issued a warrant to arrest a 27-year-old Stamford man on charges of failure to insure a private motor vehicle and failure to exercise reasonable care when near a vulnerable user on a public way.

The injured man asked the NCPD to release the entirety of its investigation to Robinson, she said in the Petition.

“The Respondent [town] has refused to release the full investigation to the Petitioner,” Robinson said. “The Petitioner has no way to gain access to information such as videos, photographs and documents regarding the collision which may show the circumstances of the collision.”

According to the NCPD Crash Report that is attached to the Petition, the arrested man had been traveling southbound on Old Stamford Road in the area of number 429 that afternoon and “[a]s he was traveling there was sun glare that obstructed his view, and he could not see that well.” A passenger in his car also “stated that there was sun glare,” the report said.

In arguing for disclosure, Robinson cited a section of state statute that deals with obtaining police records following such accidents, as follows: “The police department of any… town … having or receiving any memoranda, sketches, charts, written statements, reports or photographs made in the investigation of any accident wherein any person has been injured or property damaged shall preserve and retain the same for a period of at least ten years from the date of such accident … [S]uch records shall be available to any person involved in the accident subsequent to the issuance of a warrant or summons in such action.”

The items sought by the victim “are material and necessary to aid in the prosecution of an action that is likely to be brought in the matter,” Robinson said in the Petition. She is seeking items that include “surveillance videos, dash cam videos, photographs, reconstruction reports, [and] statements regarding the incident.”

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