A North Street man was hospitalized with a broken leg after being struck by a police cruiser while shoveling his driveway on Sunday, Dec. 16.

Police said the incident occurred at 4:20 p.m. after Officer Daniel Devine lost control of his vehicle while attempting to avoid a privately operated plow near 90 North St.

The incident occurred after several inches of snow had fallen that day and a combination of sleet and rain caused "extremely icy" conditions on Andover's roadways, Lt. James Hashem said.

The cruiser wound up crashing into a snow bank and hitting 39-year-old Christopher "Gerry" Lohan.

"(Devine) struck the gentleman that was out shoveling his driveway," Hashem said. "I believe he was at the edge of the roadway."

After an ambulance and other police officers responded to the scene, Lohan was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to Boston for further medical attention.

Lohan's wife, Karen, told the Board of Selectmen on Monday that her husband was scheduled for leg surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital, because his leg was broken in the accident.

Both Karen Lohan and her neighbor, Moira Reed Conrad of 82 North St., said the officer appeared to be speeding before the accident occurred, according to eye-witnesses including the plow operator and another neighbor, whom Conrad would not identify.

"Why was he going that fast? He was on one side of the road and wound up in our driveway," said Lohan to selectmen. "I worry about my children and other people's children."

Karen Lohan and Conrad went before the selectmen to appeal for a reduction of the speed limit on North Street, which is 40 miles per hour, Conrad said.

"It needs to be adjusted," said Conrad after the meeting. "We're hoping they could bring it down to at least 35, if not 30."

Andover police Chief Brian Pattullo, who attended the meeting, told Lohan and Conrad that the town would do what it could to get the speed limit reduced, as it has in the past.

"As you know, it's not set by us; it's set by the state," said Pattullo. "We'll petition again for a lower speed limit."

Pattullo said after the meeting that speed did not contribute to the accident involving Lohan.

"It was white-out conditions. He couldn't have been speeding," Pattullo said. "The complaints on North Street have nothing to do with the accident. It had to do with weather conditions."

Police took photographs at the scene and have since concluded their investigation of the crash, Hashem said.

"There was no indication that speed was a factor," Hashem said. "It was a weather-related crash. It did not appear the officer violated any rule or statute. He was acting accordingly and it just appeared there were an unfortunate set of circumstances at this time."

Multiple attempts to contact Karen Lohan after the meeting were unsuccessful.

"If there's something good to be said, it's that he's relatively OK," said Conrad of Christopher Lohan.

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