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September 29. 2013 10:50PM

Insurance company may seek damages from city related to police officer's accident

MANCHESTER — The city can expect to receive injury-related claims related to the March hit-and-run accident involving former Manchester police sergeant Stephen Coco, according to a notice the city received over the summer.
City Solicitor Tom Clark released a notice of claim from the company that writes the personal automobile insurance for Coco. Coco's automobile insurance company, The Concord Group, has said it has been presented with claims from the two 17-year-olds injured in the accident

City Solicitor Tom Clark released a notice of claim from the company that writes the personal automobile insurance for Coco. Coco's automobile insurance company, The Concord Group, has said it has been presented with claims from the two 17-year-olds injured in the accident: Dean Drukker and Noah Hickman.

"Should we be called on to pay this claim, we will be seeking damages from the city of Manchester as the owner of the vehicle," reads an Aug. 21 letter sent by The Concord Group to the city.

Coco was driving a city-owned, unmarked police vehicle — a 2007 Nissan Pathfinder — last March when he struck two teenagers outside their homes on a quiet residential street in Bedford. He did not stop after the accident and was initially charged with felony conduct after an accident.

But earlier this month, prosecutors reduced the charge to vehicular assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and allege Coco was "attempting to access information on a cell phone" when the accident took place. The case has yet to go to trial and is pending in Hillsborough County Superior Court.

Coco was fired shortly after the accident.Both teenagers were banged up in the accident. Hickman suffered a broken elbow; Drukker had bleeding on the brain. They were hospitalized for a short time and eventually sent home. The city is self-insured and pays all but the largest claims from the city treasury.
There is no city record detailing the cost of the injuries.In an email message, City Solicitor Tom Clark stressed that the Aug. 21 letter is not a claim, but a notice of potential claim. Clark released the notice at the request of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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