WINCHESTER -- The Winchester man who was accused of trying to cover up a hit-and-run by junking his Jeep is headed to jail as part of a plea agreement reached this week in the Cheshire Superior Court in Keene.
Zachary M. Croteau, 27, pleaded guilty to charges of obstructing the government and conduct after an accident for the December accident in which he hit a house in the Ashuelot section of Winchester with his girlfriend’s Jeep, and then drove off. Prosecutors dropped two felony counts of falsifying physical evidence as part of the plea agreement.
According to a police report on file in the court, Croteau hit the house on Dec. 18, and drove off after a person in the home went out to see if he was OK. Croteau then drove the Jeep to a friend’s property and hid it among other scrap items, police report.
The friend’s wife found out, and called her husband, who contacted Croteau and told him to get the Jeep off their property, according to the police report. A short time later, Croteau contacted a junk car and scrap metal dealer and told him he needed to have a Jeep scrapped, according to the report.
The dealer picked up the Jeep that night, paying Croteau $125 for the vehicle, according to the police report. Officers investigating the hit-and-run soon tracked the Jeep to Croteau, and he admitted to hitting the house and leaving, according to the police report.
Croteau claimed he was forced off the road when an expensive car ahead of him braked hard. Croteau said that because of an oil delivery truck in the opposite lane, he was forced into the house, according to the police report.
Croteau will serve a month in jail as part of the sentence. He will have a yearlong sentence suspended for three years, during which time he is to remain on good behavior, according to court records.