Now 3 people charged in connection with New Hampshire bike ride tragedy

In the week since a 19-year-old woman plowed into a group of bicyclists on a New Hampshire bicycle ride — killing two and injuring two others — police have charged three people in connection with the crash.

Police are investigating everyone related to the tragic case. Early on, they had been criticized for not doing enough to prevent the driver of the 2002 Honda from getting back behind the wheel after a traffic stop 8 hours before the crash.

In the most recent action, police issued a summons to the owner of the car that the woman was driving in the crash. Earlier they had arrested the driver and a woman who allegedly had supplied her with drugs.

Pamela Wells

Pamela Wells

Elise Bouchard

Elise Bouchard

The bicyclists, Pamela Wells, 60, of South Hamilton, Mass., and Elise Bouchard, 52, of Danvers, Mass., were among the 1,500 riders on the annual Granite State Wheelmen Tri-State Seacoast Century  on Sept. 21. They were struck in a horrific head-on collision on a bridge about 8:30 a.m. by a driver who had crossed the center line.

Charges

Police first arrested Darriean Hess of Seabrook on Tuesday, charging her with two counts of negligent homicide and two counts of second degree assault.

Police had stopped Hess shortly midnight on Saturday for speeding 59 mph in a 30 mph zone on that same bridge. After she told police that she didn’t have a license to drive, they contacted a friend to drive away the 2002 Honda.

The media quoted a friend of one of the victims that it was “ridiculous” that Hess could get back behind the wheel. The police chief later said that there’s no law to hold her in jail for speeding or driving without a license.

Next, police arrested Cindy Sheppard, 48, of Hampton, NH. She was the woman who drove away the 2002 Honda for Hess. Police say she gave Hess fentanyl, a pain killer, on Saturday morning before the crash.

She was charged on Wednesday with selling a controlled substance and allowing an improper person to drive a car. Police said they told Sheppard that Hess did not have a license to drive when they released the car to her. In an unrelated case, Sheppard also faces arraignment on seven drug possession charges that stem from her earlier arrest by Hampton police in June.

Although police said they could not detain Hess for speeding or driving without a license, it’s surprising they released the car into the custody of a woman who already had been arrested in connection with supplying heroin in the Hampton area.

On Thursday, police served a warrant on Scott Martin, 19, of Seabrook, on the violation of allowing an improper person to operate a vehicle. According to police, Martin allowed Hess to drive his 2002 Honda even though he knew she didn’t have a license.

Services

The victims of this tragedy have been remembered in a number of ways.

Friends and acquaintances set up a memorial for the two with messages, candles and a bouquet of flowers at the northern end of the bridge.

Services were held Thursday and Friday for Bouchard, who is survived by her parents and other family members. Donations in her memory were made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a cause that she supported through charity bike rides.

The other cyclist, Wells is survived by her husband and two children, ages 16 and 17. On Friday, students at the high school that her children attend showed their support by wearing “Purple for Pam.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2013/09/28/now-3-people-charged-in-connection-with-new-hampshire-bike-ride-tragedy/

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    • Jack on September 29, 2013 at 6:17 am
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    This horrible story is unfortunately another series of examples on on unfair, biased and unprofessional road justice is managed in the USA. Now the NH justice dept is rushing to save face instead of people’s lives.

    Has there been any details on her electronic distractions yet?

  1. I haven’t seen anything about her talking on a cellphone, texting or reaching for the radio dial to change the station, etc., although that’s entirely likely. All I’ve seen is that she told a witness that she took her eyes off the road.

    Considering the pain killer she’d been given by her friend, that may have provided enough of a distraction while driving.

    What I find surprising is that police released the car into the custody of her friend, who already faced multiple charges of drug possession and distribution from a drug bust back in June. Hardly a responsible adult.

    • Jack on September 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm
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    Understand by why was she taking her eyes off the road, especially on a two lane bridge? Hess serves as a regrettable example of the type of personality (braggadocios, irresponsible, unlicensed, uninsured, etc) too often permitted to use public roads. Nothing legally happens to them until a catastrophe occurs.

    As you’ve probably read, Hess in Facebook:
    One status indicates she and her fiance, Scott Martin, 19, were pulled over for speeding and received a $150 fine in January.

    “The cop said he was doing 80 and we flew by him doing like 100 (laughing my a** off),” she wrote.

    On Sept. 5, she posted: “I’m feelin’ electric tonight; Cruising down the coast goin’ ’bout 99; Got my bad baby by my heavenly side; I know if I go, I’ll die happy tonight!”

    But she’s not the one who dies.

    • Jim Harvey on October 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm
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    The police followed the law in both pre-accident contacts: not arresting the defendant for driving without a license, allowing an accused (note she’s not convicted, which is a rather important point) druggie to drive the car away.

    In ugly cases like this it’s easy to let emotions triumph over rational due process. Heated and uniformed reactions are the kind of cr*p we usually get from the automotive community.

    If you’re unhappy with these results – work to change the laws, either in New Hampshire or the state where you live…

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