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Police Identify the Driver in the Route 111 Fatality

An SUV was discovered in a gully in the woods across from the intersection of routes 110 and 111 on Monday.

Police identified the man found dead inside his SUV after an apparent accident across from the intersection of Monroe Turnpike (Route 111) and Shelton Road (Route 110) Monday morning as Liam Callahan, 42, of 16 Totem Trail in Sandy Hook.

The cause of the accident and associated details are currently under investigation by the Serious Accident Investigation Team, according to a statement issued by the Monroe Police Department on Tuesday morning.

At around 9:39 on Monday morning, a Connecticut Light & Power employee slowed his truck down on Monroe Turnpike, directly across the street from the Route 110 intersection, to inspect a pole following last Saturday's storm, when he looked down and noticed a vehicle in a gully off the roadway, according to police.

Monroe police officers, firefighters and Emergency Medical Service personnel responded to the scene, but quickly determined that the male driver — who turned out to be Callahan — was deceased. There were no passengers.

Police Capt. Michael Flick said police did not know how long the SUV was in the woods. He said the mid-size SUV, was not visible to a normal passerby because of the heavy vegetation.

The family filed a missing person report in Newtown, which Monroe police followed up on.

Callahan owned The Angry Pepper, a hot sauce company employing three people in Monroe. He has a wife and son.

He is a former Norwalk police officer fired for removing evidence from the scene of a police investigation in 2005, according to an article published by the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. He was later reinstated before resigning last year amidst allegations that he pulled a gun on a patron in a Sandy Hook restaurant, according to the Norwalk Forum.

Siwanoy September 11, 2012 at 07:33 PM
@new kid, you know, I thought of that right after I hit reply, Patch has done the same to me as well, my bad.
Kathi September 11, 2012 at 07:38 PM
I agree with the negative comments about his work history, at this time, are in very poor taste. Not impressed Patch... My sincere sympathies go out to this great, as I know them, family. Such a terrible tragedy for all of them and friends... Kathi, Second Helpings
Jennifer Ryan Baranello September 11, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Liam, me and all of NHS Class of 1988 will miss you!
MOCK September 11, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Liam was a good guy with a great heart- I appreciate the fact that some of the readers mention that. He was a friend, a father, a husband and looked at life with a smile. We hope he finds peace and laughter in heaven.
Jennifer Ryan Baranello September 11, 2012 at 08:02 PM
PATCH, please revise this article and take out that last paragraph! It's upsetting and in poor taste.
Carl Kolchak September 11, 2012 at 08:27 PM
It's interesting that in this day and age of community journalism some simple facts about this person, which are a matter of public record and are clearly relevant to the article, would cause such objections from readers. I'm sure Mr. Callahan was a fine person. But telling the WHOLE story is part of any good journalist's responsibility, even if it upsets some readers. Seems like maybe the CT Post and the Patch both could have done a little more work to paint a more complete picture of this individual, although I understand the need to get the news published quickly. It will be even more interesting to see if the police can figure out exactly what happened to this guy. Of course, there was a time when things like suicides were not generally published in the papers (and I am NOT implying that this was a suicide). But I guess times have changed as the world becomes more closely connected at the touch of the keyboard.
Bill Bittar (Editor) September 11, 2012 at 08:32 PM
One line just added to the story was that Callahan's family had filed a missing person report in Newtown. It was alluded to in yesterday's story, but I put it in again because some people questioned why the family wasn't looking for him, when in fact they were.
Oldblooeyz September 11, 2012 at 09:59 PM
The article was perfectly neutral. How long was he missing? It's hard to believe no one heard anything. I drive by there several times a day. If only someone would have noticed something looked like someone had gone into the woods he may be alive today. His poor family, it's so sad...
Lisa B. September 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM
You should be ashamed of yourself Mr. Bittar! I didn't know that "publc record" means, let's destroy people who have just died, leaving behind a young son. This was in very poor taste, and journalism at its worst! Rest in peace, and our thoughts go out to your family.
Carl Kolchak September 12, 2012 at 12:59 AM
A simple Google search turns up all the same information contained in these articles.
Christine E. September 12, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Everyone has done something in their life that they are not proud of. But prior missteps are not what define your life. Is this persons death somehow less important because they screwed up a time or two? Dredging up dirty laundry isnt necessary, and it serves no purpose but to devalue him. This mans child deserves to know that when his father passed, the community he lived in actually cared. It is that simple.
Erasmus September 12, 2012 at 01:40 AM
You know what's in poor taste? When my friend's father died in a horrible car accident in Norwalk, one block from his mother's home, Callahan took a piece of this poor deceased husband, son, and father's skull and took it to, according to his co-workers, make an ashtray out of. This was the 'evidence' taken from a police investigation in 2005. His horrible treatment of an accident victims body and the ensuing pain and suffering it caused my friend's family far outshines the 'pain' caused by thi reporter's story. Just desserts Callahan....
Erasmus September 12, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Criminal? Fleeing? Your comments are ridiculous, and fabricated. No Norwalk cop I've ever spoken to mentioned any of this. Maybe you know something nobody else knows?? Was he armed, dangerous, or in any other way a threat? Because I'm sure if he was it would warrant taking a piece of his corpse...right?? Your statement doesn't take away the atrocity of that fool's actions even if it were true.
elizabeth parisi September 12, 2012 at 02:52 AM
you people should speak what you know there was no police chase and officers from his own precient turned him in for what he did he was a low life dirty cop and if you want the articles to prove it go to the norwalk hour bridegeport post or the danbury news paper he took a 4 by 4 section of a man's skull that was in volved in a fatal accident and bragged about making an ashtray out of it. So if you want to see a family that suffered including his 80 year old mother his children and grandchildren sister and brothers and the rest of his family then you will see pain. His family should be happy that the police officers that responded to his accident did not discrate his body the way he did Alfred Fred Caviola's, and he may have been a nice guy when he sold you hot sauce but the devil was with him and god took him the same way my cousin died. betty parisi
jim laguardia September 12, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Just wondering if this accident occurred around the same area/time frame as the head on collision Sunday night??
Safety man September 12, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Nice Job Wrecker Drivers and Crane Operator, very smooth Recovery... I saw the Respect from your company for the Victim and his Family... Well Done !!
friend September 12, 2012 at 01:05 PM
I too am disappointed with the article. I am sad for his wife and child. They knew him and his history but don't need to be reminded of these events at this time nor does anyone else need to know them. Shame on you.
Sara Larkin September 12, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I worked with Liam for the past 2 years and he is a wonderful, funny, friendly, and caring man who worked hard and loved his family! We will miss you Liam.
Jay Lederman September 12, 2012 at 02:00 PM
As a journalism student I understand the standards and practices of a good reporter. Mr. Bittar did nothing wrong here, in fact what he did was make public information public. I met Callahan a on few occasions, once at the store near Dr. Mikes Ice Cream and a hand full of times at the newest storefront. One of my friends was even employed at the Angry Pepper for a while. After meeting Callahan I had formed my opinion about him, (positive) its what people do after they meet. The purpose of adding that last paragraph is to inform the reader who doesn't know Callahan. It is not in bad taste, Mr. Bittar was merely doing his job as a reporter and respected journalist. My sincere condolences towards Callahan's family, he will be missed.
QWERTY September 12, 2012 at 04:52 PM
The subject in question was previously mentioned in the news. A published news article drawing a relationship to another published news article isn't something to be appalled about! Being a public employee involved in a scandal is going to get to get you in the news! I think too many people are morphing this into some type of personal attack on the subject, as if the author did some deep investigative reporting specifically intended to hurt the deceased's image. I'm not a journalist but I'd assume it's in a journalists best interest to not leave the reader asking questions whenever possible. (ie Was this person the same person who was involved with XY&Z?) These events are tragic but they shouldn't lead to a news organization not stating all the facts, especially facts that were probably easy to research.
Geezer September 12, 2012 at 08:32 PM
If this man died while committing a crime, then I could see the relevance of bringing up prior legal issues. Bringing up non relevant material to sensationalize a story is what tabloids do. I thought the Patch was above that.
elizabeth parisi September 12, 2012 at 10:37 PM
s was said in a earlier statement Fred Caviola was not committing a crime or being chased by anyone he died in a horrific accident a block from his 80 year old mothers house trying to get their because he was not feeling good. so if all you bleeding heart that think Liam Callanhan was so good and no one should say anything about his past, because it might upset his family Fred had five children twelve grandchildren two brothers and two sisters and the rests of his family that loved him very much. Put yourself in this families place and let me know how you would feel if your loved one died in a auto accident which was bad enough and some sicko took the top half of his skull a four by four piece and bragged about taking it home bleaching it and making an ashtray out it. Contray to popular belief Liam Callanhan was not the nice wonderful person everyone thinks he was. This is not tabloid this is truths that sounds like most of you can't handle. Ask some of the people that he pulled his gun on when he was drunk professing to be a policeofficer. Liam Callahan reaped what he sowed.
Lisa Lahey September 13, 2012 at 12:11 AM
You despicable, ugly people making such negative comments! I am a family member and although I didn't Liam well, I know my cousin; a sweet, gentle and loving woman. So although you may think your cruel and deplorable comments satisfy your vial desires to hurt Liam, you're hurting the innocent survivors. May God judge you as you've judged.
Kim September 13, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Regardless of the fact of what this man has done in his past, he is gone from this world and has family and friends that are truly saddened by his passing. Which I'm sure in the cases that were brought, those families were also hurting. When did the world we live in become so detached from respecting those of the loved one that has died. I understand the story must be told, but when you are telling that or any other story think of the child that could read horrific stuff written about the dad that to them was their hero! It's the child that gets affected and hurt by such slander!!!
Eric September 13, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Bill Bittar has really poor taste. I knew Liam from The Angry Pepper and can tell you he was a good guy.
Eric September 13, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Bill, Why did you have to add the last paragraph for? Poor taste.
Eric September 13, 2012 at 02:18 AM
second that!
Eric September 13, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Bill Bittar only had time to dig up negative information on Liam.
Eric September 13, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Try explaining this to Carl below.
Antonia September 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM
STOP. I spent last night with Liam's wife, son and the rest of her devastated beautiful family. The man they have known and loved is gone and they are in agony and grieving. His wife and child are gentle, kind and loving people who would not "love" an unkind man. So, save your opinions about who you think he was and let them remember him as he truly was to them... A passionate, loving and kind husband, father, son in law, brother in law and friend.

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