Police Charge Driver in December Crash That Seriously Injured 25-Year-Old Man


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

Police last week arrested a 27-year-old Stamford man by warrant and charged him with failure to exercise reasonable care when near a vulnerable user on a public way.

The charge stems from an investigation that followed a Dec. 28 car crash, according to a police report.

Police took custody of the man and charged him at 10:24 a.m. on April 14, the report said. He additionally was cited for failure to insurance a private motor vehicle, it said.

According to a GoFundMe campaign, 25-year-old West Redding resident and volunteer firefighter Zachary Devine—a relative of beloved late New Canaan Public Schools teacher Kelly Devine, whose father is a cousin to Zachary’s family—on Dec. 28 “was working his full-time job when he was tragically hit by a reckless, uninsured motorist.”

“Zach’s life was changed forever,” the GoFundMe page said. “His left leg was severed just below his knee at the scene while his right leg and ankle sustained significant injuries requiring surgical repairs.”

It continues:

“Astonishingly, even with extreme blood loss, Zach was able to stay conscious and coherent throughout this disturbing event.

“Seeing his severed leg, Zach was aware of the danger he was in as he bled profusely from his artery. Remarkably, due to his extensive firefighter training, Zach was able to organize his thoughts and take life-sustaining action. Zach used his co-worker’s belt as a tourniquet on his own leg while waiting for further support from first responders.

“Zach has already endured several back-to-back operations on both his legs with additional medical procedures still to come. Once his right leg heals he is expected to undergo intensive physical rehabilitation. His goals of gaining a semblance of himself as a mechanic, a firefighter and an outdoorsman will be a challenge. Daily tasks and walking with a prosthetic leg at his 6’2” stature will require tremendous willpower and positive thinking; not to mention extensive medical, emotional and financial support.

“Zach will not be able to forge ahead alone. As a young man with so much of life still to come, we hope this fundraiser will help make his daily living manageable and dignified. He will need many home accessibility and living modifications that address his new needs(eg: home entrance ramp; new handicapped bathroom, prosthetics, etc).”

The GoFundMe campaign has raised about $89,000 toward a $100,000 goal. Details here.

Under state law, a “vulnerable user” can include a pedestrian, highway worker or person operating “a commercial motor vehicle equipped with a garbage compactor, a detachable container or a curbside recycling body,” among other people, and “substantial bodily harm” means “bodily injury that involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or causes a fracture of any bodily part.”

The arrested man was released on $25,000 bond and scheduled to appear May 5 in state Superior Court.

Here’s a video about Zachary Devine:

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