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Mailman suing driver who hit his truck, launched him into tree

EXETER — An Exeter mailman is suing a driver who told police that he dropped his lunch and was bending down to pick it up when he hit a mail truck and injured the postal worker in March.

David Betts filed suit against Lawrence Curran of East Kingston in Rockingham Superior Court last week. Betts, a Dover resident, is a contract employee for the U.S. Postal Service and was delivering mail on Front Street in Exeter on March 21, when his mail truck was struck and he was thrown into a tree.

According to the suit, Betts was leaning into his delivery truck to grab the mail he needed for his walking delivery route when Curran hit the rear of his truck. The impact caused the mail truck to strike Betts and "propel him into a tree trunk."

"Immediately after the accident, Lawrence Curran informed the Exeter police that his lunch had fallen on the floor of his vehicle and when he bent over to pick it up he steered his vehicle into Betts' truck," the suit states. Curran was charged with negligent driving, a violation-level offense, and is due in court June 10, according to Exeter police Capt. Stephan Poulin.

The version of events outlined in the suit is similar to what police described in their report. Poulin said Curran was traveling on Front Street near School Street when he stated that his lunch fell to the passenger floor and he bent over to pick it up, causing his car to veer to the right and into the parked mail truck.

Betts was near his side sliding door and was injured in the accident, Poulin said.

The suit claims Betts suffered "severe and painful" injuries that included lacerations and blunt force trauma to his head and other parts of his body. Betts' medical care and treatment caused "severe pain, discomfort and mental distress which will continue into the future," the suit states.

Betts also suffered permanent scarring on his head and developed deep venous thrombosis in his left leg as a result of the accident, the suit states.

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