LONDONDERRY, NH (CBS) – It’s a common sight after a snowstorm that is frustrating police. Snow still piled on the roofs of moving cars that could become a moving violation. “Take two minutes, brush off your car of snow and ice,” said Captain Patrick Cheetham of the Londonderry, New Hampshire Police Department.
He’s trying to reinforce the message after a serious accident last week in which snow and ice from the top of a box truck went flying, crashing through a Honda Accord being driven by 20-year-old Michael Conry, smashing through his windshield.
“Picture the velocity with which the chunk of snow and ice went through that car. It totally filled the inside of the Honda,” said Captain Cheetham.
It left Conry with serious injuries to his eyes as he drove down Route 102 in Londonderry. He’s undergone several surgeries as doctors are now hoping to save his vision. “I am really surprised he survived. There was that much damage,” said Captain Cheetham.
The driver of the box truck, 60-year-old Richard Leiter, now faces negligent driving charges under Jessica’s Law, named for Jessica Smith of Peterborough, New Hampshire who was struck and killed in January, 1999 by a veering box truck that was hit by flying ice and snow.
“These vehicles are driving around three and four days after a storm with six inches of snow and ice on the roof,” said Chief Scott Guinard of the Peterborough Police Department. He was a responding officer 21 years ago and has been fighting all these years to send the message that other drivers hoping is being heard.
“You can definitely get harmed by it, it blocks your vision and can cause an accident no doubt,” said driver Nadia Hardy.
Jessica’s Law enhanced the fines for failure to remove ice and snow from vehicles. They range from $300 to $1,000. Police say Leiter, who has been cooperating with the investigation, has been released on personal recognizance and will face a court date in February.