Wednesday, March 28, 2007

State Trooper Charged In Wrong-Way Crash

Vehicle Hit Tour Bus On Bay State Turnpike
March 28, 2007
By TRACY GORDON FOX, Hartford Courant Staff Writer [Connecticut]

A state police sergeant who crashed his department vehicle into a tour bus on the Massachusetts Turnpike this month has had his police powers suspended after he was charged in the incident by state police in Westfield, Mass.

Sgt. Daniel Herman, 46, of East Hartland, was given a summons by Massachusetts State Police for operating to endanger, wrong way driving, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, police said. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Westfield today for a hearing to determine whether he will be tried on those charges, police said.

Police are still investigating how the crash occurred, including whether it was done intentionally. It was not clear why Herman was driving the wrong way on the turnpike during the daytime.

Herman, who was a supervisor at Troop W at the airport, was driving west on I-90, the Massachusetts Turnpike, on March 9 at 1:22 p.m. on the wrong side of the road, Massachusetts state police said.

His 1997 Ford Explorer collided with the left front of a motor coach bus, driven by Phillip Bourget, 60, of Worcester, police said. The bus then spun around and struck a Saab sedan driven by Michelle Koenig, of New Hampshire.

Herman, Bourget and a child passenger in Koenig's car suffered minor injuries and were treated and released at a hospital in Westfield, police said.

Lt. J. Paul Vance, spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, said Herman's police powers have been suspended pending an investigation by Massachusetts State Police. His gun and vehicle have been taken from him, Vance said.

When he returns from injury leave, he will be placed on administrative duty, pending the criminal charges and a subsequent internal affairs investigation, Vance said.

Herman is a veteran state trooper who was promoted to sergeant in 2001.

Contact Tracy Gordon Fox at tfox@courant.com.

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