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2 bicyclists killed and 2 injured in New Hampshire bike event

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Update: Sept. 23, 2013 — Police had cited the driver for speeding on the bridge just 8 hours before the crash and confiscated her car after she admitted to not having a driver’s license. More below…


Sept. 22, 2013 — Horrible news from the Granite State Wheelmen Tri-State Seacoast Century bike ride on Saturday….

A motorist slammed head-on into a group of bicyclists who were crossing a two-lane bridge in New Hampshire, killing two and injuring two others.

Sign along the bike route

Sign along the bike route

This was the 40th anniversary of the bike ride that starts in Hampton Beach State Park in New Hampshire. It featured multiple bike route options into Maine and Massachusetts during the two-day event.

The crash happened on the 16.9-mile course that heads south to Newburyport, Massachusetts.

A motorist heading south on the Neil R. Underwood Bridge at about 8:30 a.m. crossed the median and plowed into the bicyclists who were riding north.


Update: The Exeter Patch reported on Monday that the driver, Darriean Hess, 20, of Seabrook, N.H., had been stopped by police shortly after midnight Saturday for speeding over the bridge at 59 mph.  When she told police that she didn’t have a driver’s license, police confiscated the car.

Police said a friend later retrieved the car, a 2002 Honda, which is the same one she was driving in the collision that killed two people about 8 hours later.


The dead were identified as Pamela Wells, 60, of South Hamilton, Mass., and Elise Bouchard, 52, of Danvers, Mass., according to reports. Treated at area hospitals for injuries were Uwe Uhmeyer, 60, of Essex, Mass., and Margo Heigh, 54, of Danvers, Mass.

The driver, a 20-year-old woman from Seabrook, N.H., was treated at a hospital for injuries and released. No charges have been filed, according to police, who are investigating the crash.

After striking the bicyclists, the car continued along the curb and sidewalk before crossing back into the southbound lane where it hit several road signs before it stopped.

The nearly 1-mile bridge carries Route 1A (Ocean Boulevard) across Hampton Harbor.

More information about the tragedy here and here.

See maps for the bike routes.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2013/09/22/2-bicyclists-killed-and-2-injured-in-new-hampshire-bicycle-event/

7 comments

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  1. Lance

    Terrible! How is it possible that no charges were filed against the driver?

  2. Jack

    Terrible is right. Made worse by allowing another irresponsible driver to escape jail time. Hopefully the DA and police will run out of excuses soon for not doing their job.

    Cell phone involved? People are so hooked on their electronic toys that they can’t put them down, even when driving a life threatening vehicle.

  3. Kolo Jezdec

    She admitted to not having a driver’s license? Does this mean she did not have the license with her, or that she does not have license to drive, period? If it is the latter, this woman ought to be in jail tonight and for many years after. And what of the culpability of the “friend” who retrieved the car? What a friend, giving this woman a second chance at homicide.

    She killed a 60 year old woman and a 52 year old woman. Both of these woman are old enough to be the killer’s mother. I wonder how this woman can bear to look at her own parents after this?

    1. Kolo Jezdec

      I just read the article in the Exeter Patch. This woman admitted that ” she didn’t actually have a license.” This after driving almost twice the speed limit! If she would have been arrested and held for a bail hearing, Pamela Wells and Elise Bouchard would be alive and well, and Darriean Hess might be questioning wisdom of driving while stupid.

      I am sure Ms. Hess’ parents are proud.

      Article with pictures of the victims (and the killer) here : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2429511/Darriean-Hess-crash-Two-cyclists-killed-woman-driver-20-plows-highway-100-mile-ride.html

    2. Kolo Jezdec

      Ms Wells has a husband and 2 children, aged 16 and 17.

    3. Kolo Jezdec

      And here is a ‘heartfelt’ comment from an article in the article cited above:

      “In America, fuel taxes solely pay for the roads, that are designed for cars and trucks, period. These freeriders belong in a public park designed for bicycles or on private property. It isn’t fair to anyone that they are out on the highway and it is rather dangerous as we can see here. While I feel terrible for the victims of this accident, it was entirely preventable. It is high time for some common sense bicycle laws. Perhaps they should be licensed, taxed and forced to comply with the same rules cars and truck are of they want to share the road with vehicles weighing multiple tons.
      – JackinFtLaud , Davie_Florida, United States, 23/9/2013 02:03”

      Misguided, at best, ignorant as well, as fuel taxes are not he sole source of funding for our highways. Common sense bicycle laws, indeed. Makes me so angry (and sad).

  4. Jack

    Police confiscated her car then let it go so she could drive it again even though she doesn’t have a license? She should be in jail and an officer or two should lose their job.

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