Couple Killed In I-89 Crash Identified
Wilder Pair Was Expecting First Child Due Next Month
Lebanon — The two people killed in the two-car crash on Saturday afternoon were an engaged couple described by friends and family as a pair of natural caregivers who were thrilled about the baby they had on the way.
Amanda Murphy was eight months pregnant, said Catherine Amarante, Murphy’s boss and the executive director of Valley Terrace in Wilder. Murphy and her fiancée, Jason Timmons, died when a vehicle jumped the median and collided with theirs on Interstate 89, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said in a news release on Sunday. They died at the scene.
“These are two gentle souls,” Amarante said.
Police are still investigating the crash, which occurred just north of Exit 18 in Lebanon at about 1:15 p.m. on Saturday.
When Lebanon Police received a 911 call shortly past 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, they found Timmons and Murphy dead at the scene of the crash, the Attorney General’s Office said. The two were driving in the northbound lane when a 2005 Chevy pickup truck in the southbound lane, driven by Robert Dellinger, of Sunapee, crossed the median and collided with the couple’s 2005 Ford Escape.
Officials did not specify if road conditions, speed, alcohol or seat belt use played a role in the collision or fatalities.
Timmons, 29, and Murphy, 24, met several years ago as caregivers at Valley Terrace, an assisted living community, Amarante said. As of Saturday, Murphy, a 2007 Hartford High School graduate, was still working there.
This past Wednesday, they held a baby shower at the Wilder location.
“It was fabulous,” Amarante said. “This is part of her family. This is a pretty tight community and she got showered with gifts. It was really, really beautiful. She really wanted this baby.”
Amarante remembered Murphy’s penchant for practical jokes, though at the same time knew she was one of the “go-to” members of the team when difficult questions arose. And she also remembered Murphy and Timmons’ aptitude as caregivers.
“He came with no experience and did this work,” she said of Timmons. “The residents loved him. Big, tall guy. Very gentle, very kind. Always had a smile on his face. He was a wonderful, wonderful human being.”
Valley Terrace held a gathering on Sunday in honor of the couple, a safe space for friends and co-workers to tell stories in each others’ company. Amarante estimated a group of about 20 attended.
In Florida, Lisa Barbaris, Jason Timmons’ aunt, lives near his father, Floyd, who declined to comment.
“Jason is wonderful,” Barbaris said. “A wonderful person.”
Barbaris said Timmons traveled down the East Coast to see his father over the summer, where they celebrated a “Christmas in July.”
“(He was) just a real good, well-rounded child,” she said.
Amarante said that Valley Terrace will also hold an event in the future to memorialize Timmons and Murphy.
Dellinger, 53, was taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with minor injuries, officials said. DHMC spokesman Rick Adams said on Sunday that Dellinger is not “on the list of patients for whom we’re authorized to release information.”
New Hampshire State Police on Sunday referred questions to the state Attorney General’s Office, which is closed over the weekend. An email and phone message left for Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell were not returned.
According to a news release sent out by the Attorney General’s Office, autopsies were scheduled to be performed on Sunday.
After the collision, Dellinger’s truck came to rest down an embankment on the northbound side of the highway. Murphy’s and Timmons’ vehicle was by the roadside nearby, its front tires resting on the edge of the pavement.
Lebanon’s police, fire and ambulance units all responded to the scene and traffic was delayed through the evening, though the road was clear by Sunday morning. State police are asking that anyone who witnessed the collision or has more information about it to call 603-271-3636 or 603-223-4381.
Jon Wolper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3242.