Former FBI Director Louis Freeh Recovering from Barnard Crash Injuries

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Barnard — Former FBI Director Louis Freeh is expected to recover from serious injuries sustained during a one-car accident on Route 12 in Barnard earlier this week, State Police Capt. Ray Keefe said on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday evening, Keefe said troopers had not yet been able to talk to Freeh about the accident, which was reported shortly after noon on Monday, because of his medical condition.

Based on the evidence at the scene, he said the characteristics of the accident are “consistent” with somebody who either fell asleep, got distracted or experienced a medical issue while driving. He said there were no brake marks on the road.

A preliminary investigation showed that drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors, according to a state police news release.

“In our world, this is a very basic, simplistic accident,” Keefe said. “We’ll get to the bottom of why he went off the road.”

He said troopers will talk to Freeh as soon as he is able to communicate.

The New York Times reported that officials said Freeh broke at least one of his legs and required surgery.

Photos of the scene show that responders appear to have used hydraulic tools to cut off the top of Freeh’s vehicle.

Freeh, who served as FBI director from 1993 to 2001 and lives in Wilmington, Del., has a vacation home in Barnard, Keefe said.

Initial investigation showed that Freeh was traveling south in his 2010 grey GMC Yukon when he drove off the east side of the roadway, striking a mailbox and a row of shrubs before coming to rest at the side of a tree, according to the release.

Freeh was alone and wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. He was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. No one else was injured, according to the release.

Freeh’s name was not on a list of patients for whom information is available, according to DHMC spokesman Rick Adams.

State Rep. Teo Zagar, D-Barnard, said he has seen Freeh buying groceries at the Barnard General Store, where Zagar works some Monday mornings.

“I remember recognizing him the first time I saw him in there,” Zagar said. “It took me a second to realize who he was.”

He said some people in town are aware that Freeh has had a home there for several years. But others, including Selectboard Chairman Tom Morse, didn’t realize until after news broke about the crash.

“I didn’t know, but that doesn’t mean much,” Morse said.

Zagar said several emergency responders were at the general store on Monday for their lunch hour when their “pagers and radios (started) going off and they rushed out the building.”

He soon saw other emergency responders driving by on the road.

Freeh is a former federal judge who has worked as a lawyer and consultant since departing the FBI, where he oversaw investigations into the crash of TWA flight 800, the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, the Unabomber and other high-profile cases, according to USA Today .

In recent years, he was hired by Penn State to examine the handling of child sex abuse complaints involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and conducted a review of the financial settlement program for Gulf Coast residents affected by the BP oil spill.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Maggie Cassidy can be reached at or 603-727-3220.

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