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Car accidents on I-93: Latest tragedy includes 1 dead, 2 injured

New Hampshire, like everywhere else, suffers the economic and emotional devastation of catastrophic accidents on a daily basis. All kinds of people from this state and elsewhere are involved in car accidents resulting in serious injury or worse. Even those who protect our security sometimes make a mistake and cause a serious mishap that will never be forgotten.

That kind of an event occurred on Interstate 93 in Canterbury recently. A 25-year-old popular firefighter died in a crash that occurred after the car's driver drifted to the center of the road and crashed into a group of trees in the vicinity of Exit 17. The driver was the decedent's lifelong friend and himself a firefighter. The driver and another passenger were taken with serious injuries to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

The decedent's family were quoted as saying that the young man had a "big heart" and was a generous soul. The bridges and interchanges along I-93 were covered with firefighter apparatus in memory of the man. The cause of the crossover is unknown at this time, but it is known that the three men were returning from the 170th Police Academy graduation in Durham.

A final police report will likely be helpful in determining the cause of the crossover. Emerging statistics nationwide are showing that distraction has replaced impairment as a major cause of such events. A driver could also have become drowsy and lost control due to nodding out at the wheel.

The injured passenger and the decedent's estate may proceed against the driver under New Hampshire law pertaining to car accidents causing personal injury and for wrongful death damages, respectively. The death action could be substantial because there is a relatively large lost earning capacity claim that is extended over the average life expectancy of the decedent. A 25-year-old public employee with benefits and cost-of-living increases would be expected to earn a significant amount, somewhere in the seven-figures, on a cumulative basis had he lived.

Source: unionleader.com, "Services planned for Lincoln firefighter killed in crash", Michael Cousineau, Aug. 21, 2016

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