Two bicyclists killed in New Hampshire car accident during coastal tour

Posted Sept. 21, 2013, at 6:32 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 22, 2013, at 3:33 p.m.

HAMPTON, N.H. — Two bicyclists were fatally injured Saturday morning when a motor vehicle struck them on Ocean Boulevard at the Neil R. Underwood Memorial Bridge. The car hit four people participating in the Granite State Wheelmen’s 40th annual Tri-State Seacoast Century ride at around 8:30 a.m.

Police said two Massachusetts women were killed. They were identified as Pamela Wells, 60, of South Hamilton, and Elise Bouchard, 52, of Danvers. The other cyclists were taken to area hospitals and suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Investigators said a 20-year-old female motorist was driving south and crossed into the northbound lane, hitting the riders. The driver was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and released.

Authorities haven’t said whether the driver will be charged. Hampton police Deputy Chief Richard Sawyer said the investigation is ongoing and could take some time while police interview witnesses.

The accident comes almost three months after a fatality during a bicycle ride in Hanover, Maine. A bicyclist from Massachusetts participating in the Trek Across Maine, 23-year-old David LeClair, was killed on June 14 when he was struck by the back end of a tractor-trailer while riding on Route 2.

Investigators have said that LeClair was drinking water when the accident occurred, which might have caused him to lose control of his bike, and that the draft from the truck contributed to the accident.

The Tri-State Seacoast Century right, which had 1,600 registered participants, began and ended at Hampton State Park, just before the Underwood Bridge, said Bob Koehler, co-coordinator of the event. He did not have any further comment earlier today as riders returned to the state park.

The bridge was closed to traffic for several hours while the Hampton police, assisted by the New Hampshire state police, investigated the scene of the accident.

Anyone with information relating to this accident is asked to contact the Hampton Police Department at (603) 929-4444 or the Crimeline for the Hamptons at (603) 929-1222.

Distributed by MCT Information Services.

BDN staff writer Nick Sambides Jr. contributed to this report.

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