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March 26. 2013 10:44PM

Teens' parents sickened officer allegedly behind wheel in Bedford hit and run


BEDFORD — With one Bedford teenager suffering a possible brain injury and another nursing a broken elbow, a pair of Bedford parents said they're sickened over the alleged actions of a Manchester police sergeant in a hit-and-run accident last Friday.

"It makes me sick to my stomach; it's horrible," said John Hickman, whose son, Noah, 17, suffered a broken elbow. "You expect to have anybody, regardless if they're a police officer or not, stop. They're there to serve and protect, not drive away."

A veteran Manchester police officer said everyone in the department is upset by the actions of the alleged driver, off-duty detective Sgt. Stephen Coco.

"As a department, this is stuff that impacts the very fiber of our organization," said police Lt. Shawn Fournier, the president of the Manchester Association of Police Supervisors, the union that represents Coco. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family of these two young men."

Nancy Drukker, the mother of Dean Drukker, said she was shocked when she learned that Coco, a Bedford resident, is the suspected driver of the car.

"We all make mistakes. We are not perfect," she said, adding she lost a lot of respect for police that night.

Dean Drukker, 18, a senior at Bedford High School, suffered bleeding in the brain but is now home recuperating from a concussion.

"We're happy he's OK and going to be OK. He's a living miracle," his mother said.

She had praise for Noah Hickman. "Noah is our hero and he's his friend and we will love him even more, forever," Drukker said. "Noah saved his life really."

After getting hit, Noah first ran to his house and alerted his parents, Hickman said. Hickman's wife called 911, Hickman attended to Dean, and Noah ran to the house of a neighbor, a nurse.

"I think Noah's a hero, too. I'm extremely proud of him," said Hickman, the father of four.

According to police reports, Noah also told police information critical to their investigation. He told police what driveway the SUV pulled out of, and he gave a description of the vehicle. He also noted the driver's actions after the accident.

Noah and Dean are students at Bedford High School.

Drukker gave credit to both the Bedford and Manchester police departments. They worked together and treated the case like any other case, even though a police officer was involved, Drukker said.

And she gave credit to her son's guardian angel. "My utmost belief," Drukker said, "is that God was protecting him."

New Hampshire Union Leader reporter Mark Hayward contributed to this article.

pgrossmith@unionleader.com


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