N.H. Dad Found Not Guilty of Speeding With Wife in Labor


A Londonderry father who was clocked at 102 mph while rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital was found not guilty of speeding Monday in Manchester District Court.

John Coughlin was accused of going 102 mph in a 55 mph zone on Interstate 293 on Sept. 18.

State Trooper Francisco Vicente testified Monday that his radar clocked Coughlin going 47 mph over the speed limit around Exit 1, and he began to follow him.

Coughlin called 911 while the trooper was behind him and told authorities that he was trying to get his wife, Angela, to Catholic Medical Center.

When Coughlin got off at exit 5, the trooper got in front of him and was able to block traffic at the stop lights and escort him to the emergency room.

Baby Kyle was delivered minutes after they arrived at the hospital.

After Trooper Vicente helped Angela Coughlin into a wheelchair, he told John Coughlin to go enjoy the moment with his wife and later gave him a ticket.

The defense called Angela Coughlin as a witness. She testified that her water broke during the trip to the hospital, and she told her husband that the baby was about to be born.

Judge Jay Boynton told Coughlin that he was driving too fast but agreed that, under the circumstances, his actions were justified.

"We also wish the Coughlins the best of luck with their new family," said Lt. Chris Aucoin of the New Hampshire State Police. "We would not encourage the motoring public to utilize this case as an example of what to do and how to drive when you're faced with an emergency."

Coughlin said he fought the ticket because he was afraid he might lose his license if he pleaded guilty.

Coughlin said afterward that he was relieved and happy the issue is behind him.

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