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.
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.
See maps for the bike routes.