MEXICO — After the police cruiser he was driving was struck Tuesday in the parking lot of Region 9's School of Applied Technology, Mexico Officer Dustin Broughton had to ask a Dixfield officer to handle the accident. He legally couldn't do it himself.
“If any law enforcement agency is involved in an accident, another law enforcement agency has to investigate it,” Dixfield police Sgt. Jeff Howe said on scene.
Broughton, 29, was driving a 2008 cruiser through Region 9's parking lot on routine patrol at 2 p.m. when Howe said Terri Downs, 43, of Rumford, backed her 2003 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicle into the cruiser's rear door on the driver's side. The rear door was dented and the driver's door and police lettering were scuffed up.
“Officer Broughton was making his rounds when she backed up,” Howe said. “She said her seat backs were so high that she couldn't see the cruiser behind her. There was no negligence involved on either part.”
Neither was injured, but Howe estimated damage to the cruiser at $750; to the SUV's tailgate, $500. Both vehicles were driven from the scene.
Downs is an instructor at Region 9, teaching Early Childhood Education, according to its website.