Methuen man sentenced for driving violations after crashing his speeding car in Haverhill

Mike LaBella, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
·3 min read

May 5—HAVERHILL — A Methuen man who police said was driving his Corvette more than twice the speed limit and crashed into two utility poles before running from the scene was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty.

Police charged Derek Foote, 40, of 105 North St., Methuen, with leaving the scene of property damage, marked lanes violation, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and speeding.

According to documents on file in Haverhill District Court, Foote pleaded guilty to negligent operation and leaving the scene of property damage. He was sentenced last week by Judge Cesar Archilla to one year probation, the documents show.

The judge also ordered a three-month suspension of Foote's driver's license and required him to pay a $65 per month probation fee and a $50 victim witness fee. He was ordered to attend a driver's awareness class.

Foote was found responsible on the charges of marked lanes violation and speeding, according to court documents. Those charges were placed on file at the court, with no other action taken.

The judge agreed to postpone the start of Foote's sentence, including the suspension of his driver's license, to Sept. 7 at the request of Foote's lawyer Thomas Torrisi of Methuen. Torrisi said the delay will allow Foote to continue running his landscaping business during the summer, which is the busiest time of year for that kind of work.

"It was a very reasonable request that Judge Archilla agreed to," Torrisi said.

According to a police report, at 7:40 p.m. on March 15, 2020, police were dispatched to 1025 North Broadway on a report of two people seen running from the scene of a car crash.

Police said a white 2019 Chevrolet Corvette hit a stone wall and damaged two utility poles and two mailboxes. Foote's wallet and cell phone were found in the car, the police report said.

A witness told police she was driving north on North Broadway when a car crossed the double lines and passed her at an estimated 80 mph, the report said. The posted speed limit in that area is 30 mph. The woman said that when she arrived at the scene of the crash, she saw two people running across a nearby field, but could not describe them, according to the report.

Police said officers then visited Foote's home, but it appeared no one was there.

The day after the crash, Torrisi told police that his client Foote was driving the Corvette when it crashed and that he was being treated for injuries, according to the police report. Two days later, on March 18, Torrisi and Foote stopped at the Haverhill police station and Foote signed a statement saying he was driving the Corvette at the time of the crash, the report said.

Foote was arraigned on the charges Aug. 12, 2020, and his case was scheduled for later court action.

Foote is the father of Owen Foote, who in 2019 was sentenced to serve six months in jail for the September 2018 death of popular Haverhill High School student-athlete Jordan Rankin, 17.

Police said Owen Foote was driving 70 mph in a residential 30 mph zone when he sped through a stop sign and hit a car driven by Rankin. The collision site at the intersection of Liberty and Crystal streets, off Route 97, was about a half-mile from Rankin's home.