MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – A Londonderry man who was hit with a speeding ticket after rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital was found not guilty Monday afternoon.

State Police cited John Coughlin of after he was clocked driving 102 miles an hour in a 55 mph zone September 18.

WBZ-TV’s Sera Congi reports.

When police tried to pull Coughlin over, he called 911 and told officers that his wife’s water broke and was later escorted to the hospital. A tape of the 911 call was played in court on Monday.

“It just brings me back to that night, and no one knows what it was like in that car except us. We did what we thought we had to do,” said Angela Coughlin.

His wife gave birth to a boy six minutes after they arrived.

Troopers then gave him a speeding ticket. He faced a $500 fine and could have lost his license for a month.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports.

“Life and death, delivering a baby, certainly outweighs getting a speeding ticket, and that was the argument,” said Mark Stevens, the defense attorney.

Even though the judge cleared Coughlin, he did admonish him for driving so fast.

“I’m just relieved. I’m glad to put it behind us. I’m glad the people…saw our side of it, not just breaking the law,” said John Coughlin.

A State Police spokesman said they respected the judge’s decision.

Comments (61)
  1. emom says:

    Ok this will open up some dangerous behaviors, I totally understand the need to protect your family and have respect for his concern, BUT to speed twice the speed limit and not contact any emergency vehicle for help was foolish.. I am glad in the end all was good and all are well. But for others PLease dont be as foolish and try driving in excess just because this guy did and got out of the ticket, Life is way more important and to risk it is fruitless,

    1. Thomas Hood says:

      +1 I totally agree!

    2. dan says:

      you should run for president…you have a lot to say… same as cynic..vice president

    3. casst346 says:

      I agree 100% with emom..
      What would we say to the couple if they hit and killed someone at 102 mph? Would we say, “oh thats ok, i know you were going 102 mph because your wife was in labor”..The person/s potentially killed would never see a hospital, only a cemetary…They should never have allowed themselves to justify going 102 mph and putting others at more serious risk of injury or was selfish..

  2. Thomas Hood says:

    “Even though the judge cleared Coughlin, he did admonish him for driving so fact.”

    I doubt that. He might have admonished him for driving so FAST though.

    Sheesh. Get help!

    1. guru says:

      it was a typo….they meant to say fast- not fact

  3. dawn says:

    driving 102 miles an hour was stupid he is lucky he didn’t kill his wife, self and unborn child along with a few innocent motorists on the road that day he was guilty of speeding period ….. if he was that worried he should have called a ambulance from home.

  4. bobbyj says:

    What reason did the Judge give for letting him off? Law is Law. I am not quite understanding this. Regardless of the reason, I am happy for him, but from the Judge’s perspective, that is excessive speed!

  5. Worried firefighter says:

    I guess endangering public safety because you’re too stupid to call 911 for an ambulance is okay. If I was the judge I would have fined him $2,000,had him attend a safety seminar and given him a 30 day suspension of license.Please do us a favor.Stay in New Hampshire. Imagine if that women’s doctor was in Massachusetts and the husband drove like that into our state,hit and killed an innocent driver and then we find out he had no liability insurance because they can come HERE with no insurance on their vehicle.Please,please,please New Hampshire drivers.Stay in New Hampshire!

    1. Safe NH Driver says:

      Please Massachusetts Drivers, stay in Mass! I can’t believe a Massachusetts Driver is complaining about a NH driver! I commute from NH to MA every morning and as soon as I hit rt 128, there seems to be no traffic rules at all! Doesn’t anyone in MA know that a solid white line means stay in your lane? Slower traffic to the right? Directionals anyone?

      1. Thomas Hood says:

        I’m originally from Wisconsin and all I can say is this is the pot calling the kettle black! All y’all drive like lunatics! ;-)

      2. casst346 says:

        your comment is absolutely foolish..nasty crazy drivers are everywhere INCLUDING NH, absolutely no exception there…stay outta mass if your unhappy with the driving..

    2. lovenh says:

      mass drivers should talk. Stay in your own state with your excessive speed and over dramatic road rage. MA drivers are nuts so do NH a favor and don’t come here!

      1. rob says:

        Your state would be broke without Mass people pumping money into your economy.

      2. lovenh says:

        Oh cause you ppl in ma reap no benefit of “pumping money into our economy”. Funny how you guys are always in nh to save yourselves on sales tax. nobody told you to come here.

    3. Tinks Gill says:

      Thank you for doing what you do, you’re the first to arrive on the scene of an accident. You’re the one one deals with all the carnage resulting from idiots who think the road is for them only. Thanks to firefighters such as yourself, I’m alive and was able to deliver a healthy baby girl 8 months later, she’s now 16 : )
      What happened in my accident was a dump truck driver doing 80 km/hr t-boned my vehicle after running a solid red-light killing my sister-in-law instantaneously leaving her 13 yr old daughter behind. I’m just grateful that there are firefighters such as yourself willing to subject yourself to such trauma in an effort to saving as many lives as possible. I know there’s a lot of ugliness you witness and have to deal with. Once again, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart : )

    4. Soldier says:

      I called 911 before when my son was having a seizure. It took the ambulance 20 minutes to get to the house. I could have been at the hospital in that amount of time without speeding. While I do not necessarily agree with what this man did overall, I do not blame him for getting in the car and just driving. yes he was going too fast.

    5. please says:

      worried firefighter,,,do you know how to deliver babies,,,do you know how to handle cord strangulation?

  6. emom says:

    I dont understand WHY anyone driving a car would not want to have car insurance, what happens when you have an accident and its not your fault, who pays, what if you cant afford the repairs or worse, replace the car. I agree many drivers across the country do not obey the road rules, never a blinker, high beams all the time, cut you off and flip you off, how mature, like I caused that,,, lean on your horn the second the lights change, REALLY, turn the corner on a RED LIGHT with on coming traffic, never obeying the road signs , I see it every day and not only here in massachusetts, I saw it plenty of times in New Hampshire as well,talk about unsafe driving behavior, its not exclusive to just us… Point is there are rules of the road which hardly are obeyed, car insurance well I just dont get WHY they dont use it. Makes absolutly no sense to us.

    1. blusto says:

      *I dont understand WHY anyone driving a car would not want to have car insurance*

      Because if your car is worth less than the premiums you can just walk away and get another one. After you shoot it with an inregistered hand gun ;^)

      1. blusto says:


  7. anon says:

    It is excessive, but I’m glad the judge used his judgement based on what he heard. “the law is the law” is easy to spout, but no one would really like it if it was the case, I prefer it if there is a little leeway, on a case by case basis, let’s all take a breath here and calm down. “what if” he killed someone, or “what if” this or that..well it didn’t happen, these “what if” scenarios sometimes cause more problems than they prevent. When I was in labor, my husband went about 10 miles above the speeding limit, I”m glad he didn’t get a ticket. I suppose if you say ‘the law is the law’, anyone who goes over 1 mph over the speed limit should get a ticket.

  8. anon says:

    Oh, and I wouldn’t call an ambulance because I dont’ feel like shelling out around $500 (or more, with insurance) for the ride, thank you. An ambulance is for an emergency, her water broke in the car, they didn’t realize how close it was until they were already driving. If every pregnant woman called 911? Abuse of 911.

  9. Joey G says:

    It was a common sense answer. Face it, how often have you seen a police car traveling at 70,80, (more?) on the highway. Lights on or not. If an exception can be made for the police, then the door is open to allow for other exceptions.

  10. response says:

    emom, you should do a little research as to what is required of NH drivers before you post a response like that…

    I wished this guy had the book thrown at him. I hate his poor little me attitude.
    shame on the judge for finding him not guilty, they have him clocked with the trooper behind him, how can he be not guilty?

    1. Thunder says:

      I’d like to see you do the speed limit with a prego woman in the front seat next to you…. Another moron…..

    2. joe says:

      your kidding right?

      1. Joe says:

        that was @ response’s comment not thunder

      2. response says:

        NO, not kidding. He should have just paid the ticket, instead he called every newspaper and news agency in the area and took the airwaves. Just trying to get sympathy.
        His whining is iratating….I have to drvie to work…I can’t lose my lisence….whaaa whaaa….
        EVERYONE CAN USE THAT AN EXCUSE. These people think they are entitled and they love the spotlight.
        I could care less if he was driving 100 miles an hour…just man up and pay the ticket.

    3. emom says:

      response what comment about insurance, why

    4. blah blah blah says:

      the cop is guilty too for escorting at high speed

    5. K from LA says:

      f*** u and f*** the police. youre nothing but a hater..wat kind of person wants to see the book thrown at some guy for speeding with his pregnant wife? wat does it matter to you, other than you take emotional satisfaction in other peoples would make you feel good to see others suffer..a sadist..just a like a pos cop..its cool for everybody he didnt shoot the trooper in the face when hre got out too.then throw the book at him. not for trying to help his wife and infant child.go drink some more beer,. watch football,and beat your wife.

  11. Joey T says:

    driving so “fact” ?
    enough said…

  12. Doing Donuts in a Six Speed says:

    omg i loveeeeeeee driving fact…… you would NEVER believe how totally super duper fact my car is….. in fact (no pun intended) it is sooo fact it could blow your socks off!!!

    1. Cynic says:

      Doindonuts……Slow the fact down.

  13. Cynic says:

    Occasionally the system works.Too bad we don’t have smarter Cops.

  14. royp says:

    3:30 in the morning,, I’m sure the road was empty. Apparently many of you would rather she had given birth in the car. I bet many of you have never driven (not ridden) 100mph. It’s not that big of a deal.

  15. Thunder says:

    “A State Police spokesman said they respected the judge’s decision.” ? Do you think the officer has much common sense? The officer should be cited for interfering with an emergency. He’s the type of loose cannon that will make a mistake and cost the state millions. Was he mad cause he was outdrived? Jealous cause he can’t have a baby? I thought they were dumb down here in the south!

    1. Jambrose says:

      You comment is totally idiotic and your license to post should be revoked.

  16. Jean says:

    Great, so now we have given license to every moron whose wife is in labor to drive like a maniac endangering everyone on the road. This guy could have called an ambulance and had the paramedics take her to the emergency room. He should count his blessings that he didn’t kill his wife and unborn child and every other driver on the road that night. Shame on our legal system for giving this guy a break.

    1. Heather says:

      All these parents care about is themselves. Selfish brats.

      1. don't judge lest be judged says:

        So the cop speeding them, escorting them, should also get a ticket right? The cop too wasn’t thinking,,,,,but this was an emergency, what if the baby died and no pedestrian was injjured en route, then what? Should they have stopped in the middle of the road, WAIT for paramedics, so that the baby chance for survival could dwindle? The fact is that We all would have speeded to some degree. whether he speeded 102 vs 80 is still speeding. who is to say what i ssafe, certaiinly grandma traveling at 102 would much riskier… I say commend this guy that he is driving, on a cell phone, at 102 mph, while his son is coming out,,, what SKILLZ !!!!!also their is a reason why vehicles are built to go over 65, right???

  17. emom says:

    3:30 in the moring , its pitch black out, one wrong move and we would be talking about a tradegy and saying what was he thinking. I guess darned if you do and darned if you dont, people are just never happy either way,. how sad for our future…..

    1. don't judge lest be judged says:

      darned if you do, darned if you don’t,,, i agree with you 100%,,,, people with all of their opinions just don’t get it, they all think they are right when their is no right

  18. emom says:

    Hers a thought, 100 hundred folks were driving at night, at almost twice the speed limit, about 100, all have to go to court, each having a story to why they were driving that fast, only 3 have a medical emergency, the rest where reasons of in a hurry, was late, just trying to get home, late for work, DIDNT REALIZE, no one was on the road, whats the big deal , It was a great night for a drive, The earth was spinning to fast, , It wasnt me, I was really,Was trying to stay awake, trying to cool off, want to open this baby up and see what it could do, now add in a few drunks, teenagers, elderly, and a few arguing folks. factor all these things in including the medical emergencies and tell us these scenerios would be safe, Actually the statements I have mentioned are some of the crazy answers motorist have given for their excuse for speeding, even when they where drunk and clueless,, In any scenerio it was dangerous and wrong, but in the end one gets off but the next should not or may not be as lucky.. I reather beleive most would learn from this., speeding can be so dangerous .. Just be carefull folks, PLEASE for your family

  19. noneofyabusiness says:

    the cop is an ass ! like really ?

  20. worried Firefighter says:

    Let’s hope the new baby has more common sense than the father.Can you say “shallow end of the gene pool?” The father and judge are complete morons.Please,please,please stay in N.H. with the rest of the idiots.I’m from a firefighter/e.m.t. with decades of driving with a commercial driver’s license and have delivered babies in the back of the rescue.New Hampshire drivers: get over yourselfs,you suck as much as Mass drivers.

    1. lovenh says:

      Since when did this story have anything to do with MA? I respect that you are an emt and firefighter, but get over yourself and telling ppl to stay in NH. I don’t recall the story saying he crossed into MA??? If you don’t like us nh idiots, then you have no reason to come here, other then the fact that we have no sales tax and ppl from your wonderful state are always taking advantage of that.

  21. Megan Foster says:

    I guess it’s ok to potentially take a life driving 102 mph on I-293 because your little wifey if bringing a new life into the world. TYPICAL PARENTS: ‘We only care about our little family unit, who cares about anyone else.’ This has set a dangerous precedent. To the dad: maybe someone driving at 102 mph will broadside your little family unit while trying to get to the hospital… maybe… =)

    1. Momof3 says:

      it was 3:29AM…. not real sure how many families are traveling at that time in the morning….

  22. emom says:

    THis is a trend, and its scarey. People feel they can change the rules to suit them, that it never applies to them, all because ONE bucked the rules the rest follow suit. When do we as adults learn from wrong decissions, realize just because nobody was hurt that it was still wrong and should not be repeated. When does the cycle stop, we are teaching the children that no matter what because one did it so can you , even thou its wrong, bad and not right. Does not matter cause it does not apply to them. the only way these problems will stop is when there is a tragedy. And then we demand laws to stop this, everyone though the cell phones and driving were no big deal, and then BOOM, no look, same with seatbelts, now we try to pass stiffer penalties on drunk drivers and we stll have problems, we give tickets for traffic violations and now look ,they buck the system still. until someone is hurt by these actions nothing will be done and now th doorhas been open for others to do this and fight it as well, all because one bucked the system. This is so wrong.

    1. don't judge lest be judged says:

      so judgmental? So there is no trajedy in a baby dying in the car? Stop crying a river,,,who’s “We” are teaching our children…nobody is going around to kids saying it’s ok to speed,,,,it’s not that simple,, this father is not you, nor could you expect all the people on this planet to behave just LIKE YOU….you think u have it all figured out,,,this father did what he thought was right,,,you don’t….let it go,,,nobody got hurt,,,,the truth is there is no right here….you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t,,,,stop it…what you don’t realize is that everyone takes a risk to kill or be killed no matter what speed your are going on the road,,,,you could be staitonary and get hit by a car, heck you could be waling and get hit,,,so what is the real risk in this guy guying 102,,,,OMG everyone has an opinion what is safe,,,again is the risk different form say a blind 90 year old driving at 35mph? there is another “BOOM” for you

  23. Momof3 says:

    Obviously, none of you have been in this situation of “hard labor” and minutes/seconds away of delivering a baby. Also, I’m probably 99% sure all of you have went well over the speed limit a time two. So, let ye who is without sin cast the first stone….

    1. emom says:

      Question, what do you consider “WELL OVER THE SPEED LIMIT”, 5, 10 20 mph, he was twice the limit over, 55 was the speed limit, he was 102moh, thats not 10 miles over, thats dangerously OVER the speed limit, Oh and as for hard labor, yeah I bet many have had that but never broke the speed laws to get to hospital. When I was in labor My husband never was more than 5 0r 10 over the limit, and it was a 35 mph limit, so never would I do twice the speed limit, I hate going 10 over on the highway,, its to fast,,, pure and simply.

  24. response says:

    momof3 0 that’s not I am saying…yes, my husband did speed on the way to the hospital when I was in labor, had we gotten pulled over and gotten a ticket, I would have just paid the darn thing instead of running to the media.
    This couple passed two hospitals on the way to the one they were going. If it were that much of an emergency, they should have just pulled into one.
    Or they could have pulled over and let the trooper deliver the baby…they are trained…happens everyday…this is not her first child.
    FYI….there are people who leave for work at 3:30 am…..

    1. don't judge lest be judged says:

      I am a physician, police are not trained nor are paramedics,,,they are only trained in CPR,,,did you ask if the couple knew they passed 2 hospitals, does this guy have GPS in his brain?

  25. emom says:

    Those that feel this is NO BIG DEAL, and that he was doing no harm , put your self in the other persons position.. What if you were out that time in the morning, heading to work, starting on the rad early for a vacation, ( many do leave early for many reasons) now imagine this person is distracted at that rate of speed, you JUST happen to be in this drivers way and its pitch black out, What would you think, say or do , that is if you survived the accident. Its so different on the flip side. Many never think of the consequences of how wrong it truely is. I pray none have to worry,,, this is a huge wake up call of what NOT to do,.

    1. Blah Blah Blah says:

      this risk you are talking about happens as soon as you turn on your car, this is exactly the risk you take and have to ACCEPT once you go out on the road to go wherever you want, right? It is what it is

  26. Paul says:

    What he did was just simplily stupid and so was the Judge. I am volunte EMT/ Fireighter. I got a ticket for responding to a call at 86 mph, and the law says we can exceed the speed limit are responsible for any accedent we have while doing so. I was in my pov going to a call for my Mom did not reailize my speed but was being safe.
    Even tho it was legal the officer felt it was not safe gave me the tickit and the Judge fined me. wish I had the judge this Dad to be had.

  27. Bill says:

    It was 3:30 in the Morning, on a road that was clearly a highway(55 mph limit), I don’t see the problem.
    If they had sighted him for reckless driving because what he was doing was unsafe for some reason, it would be a different issue.

    Highway speed limits are set arbitrarily low to save gas.

  28. K from LA says:

    you are totally out of touch with reality’.emom’,what do you think, everybody is going to go out and speed because a guy that was looking out for his wife and child wasnt punished for it???it wasnt too foolish the judge let him go, because maybe this guy knew the medics wouldnt get there in time to help, and nobody knows if theres going to be complications in birth.lets live in reality: emergency vehicles dont get there right away.then they have to go to the hospital still. i would speed to get my wife to the hospital and do many other things for her safety including kill anyone that threatens her, without hiding in the cornerlike a sissy and calling the protect theiir woman.if a grown man doesnt have the n**s to protect his woman whether it means speeding or fighting or making sure shes got food&shelter, she’ll ultmately find someone who does.thats a rule of the city.we dont need any cops to protect us, and apparently neither does Mr.Coughlin. And he beat the ticket. unlike many of the idiots around him, that judge understands how to pass a verdict.

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