Bennington woman in critical condition after crash in N.H.

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CHESTERFIELD, N.H. — A Bennington, Vt., woman is in critical condition after a car crash on Route 9 on Sunday.

According to information from the Chesterfield Police Department, at just about 6:30 p.m., Katie Greene, 30, was traveling east on Route 9 in the passing lane in a 2011 Kia Rio when she struck from behind a vehicle stopped while the driver was waiting to turn left on to Friedsam Road.

Greene was in critical condition at the crash site. She was airlifted to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.

Linda Davis, 72, and Robert Davis, 73, of Winchester, were in a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek waiting to make a left turn when they were struck from behind. They sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported by ambulance to the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital for treatment.

After Greene's vehicle struck the Davis vehicle, her Kia spun 180 degrees before striking another Crosstrek, this one being driven by Katherine Cummings, 61, of Spofford. Cummings was released at the scene with no reported injuries.

According to information from the police department, witnesses said Greene's vehicle appeared to be traveling "at or above the posted speed limit of 50 mph."

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The Chesterfield Police Department was assisted by the Hinsdale Police Department, the New Hampshire State Police, Chesterfield Fire and Rescue, Westmoreland Rescue, Spofford Rescue and Rescue Inc.

The accident remains under investigation but there is no evidence of any alcohol or drug involvement in this collision. Any witnesses to this collision who haven't spoken with police are urged to contact Chesterfield Police Officer Derek Jackson at 603-363-4233, ext 63.

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Chesterfield Police Chief Duane Chickering said he's been seeing accidents like this going on 20 years and it's time for the state to take the concerns of residents and travelers seriously.

"I'm upset that changes are not occurring," he said. "Especially now, with the road under construction. Just strip this thing and make the change."

Earlier this year, the town's Board of Selectmen wrote the the New Hampshire Department of Transportation and asked, with paving on the horizon, that the eastbound passing lane just before the intersection of Route 9 and Route 63 be eliminated and replaced with a left turn lane. The state plans to install this summer "an advanced intersection warning system" to minimize collisions at the intersection. The warning system consists of flashing signs on Route 9 to let drivers know that cars are waiting on Route 63 to enter or cross the state highway.

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This is not doing enough for safety, wrote the board in its letter.

"We see that the present use is for faster vehicle speeds and a race to the top," wrote McKeon. "This race sometimes carries all the way over the hill and down the descending side towards the intersection of Route 63."

The town also asked the state to consider eliminating the breakdown lanes and striping in a center turn lane where Route 9 passes the Big Deal convenience store. On that section of road there was a serious rear-end crash, in 2019, while another driver was waiting to make a left hand turn into the store's parking lot. There have been other serious accidents along various sections of Route 9, a number of them resulting in fatalities.

While not discussed in the letter, the Chesterfield Planning Board recently denied an application for a food truck on Route 9 at the intersection of Stow Drive. It was denied partially due to the traffic conditions at that stretch of road, with multiple vehicles making turns onto Stow and nearby Poocham Road. The Planning Board discussed the installation of an eastbound left-hand turn lane so vehicles could turn safely onto Poocham and into the parking lot where the food truck was to be located. But that is not on the state's drawing board either.

"We don't want to see anybody else get hurt," said Chickering.


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