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Police: Woman Killed in Canaan Crash

  • New Hampshire State Police troopers stand along Route 4 in Canaan, N.H., at the scene of a fatal accident on May 27, 2014. In the woods turned on it's side is the car involved in the accident.  Valley News - Jennifer Hauck

    New Hampshire State Police troopers stand along Route 4 in Canaan, N.H., at the scene of a fatal accident on May 27, 2014. In the woods turned on it's side is the car involved in the accident. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck Purchase photo reprints »

  • Rescue workers and line workers at the scene of a fatal accident in Canaan, N.H., along Route 4 on May 27, 2014. The tractor trailer truck on the left was involved in the accident.   Valley News - Jennifer Hauck

    Rescue workers and line workers at the scene of a fatal accident in Canaan, N.H., along Route 4 on May 27, 2014. The tractor trailer truck on the left was involved in the accident. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck Purchase photo reprints »

  • New Hampshire State Police troopers stand along Route 4 in Canaan, N.H., at the scene of a fatal accident on May 27, 2014. In the woods turned on it's side is the car involved in the accident.  Valley News - Jennifer Hauck
  • Rescue workers and line workers at the scene of a fatal accident in Canaan, N.H., along Route 4 on May 27, 2014. The tractor trailer truck on the left was involved in the accident.   Valley News - Jennifer Hauck

Canaan — An unidentified woman died in a car crash on Tuesday in a collision that closed a section of Route 4 in Canaan for several hours and knocked out electricity to more than 1,100 customers.

Police had not released the identity of the woman as of late Tuesday night pending notification of family members.

At 2:24 p.m., a tractor-trailer was headed west toward Enfield when the flatbed trailer began to jacknife on a curve. The trailer skidded across the center line and into the oncoming lane.

The trailer ended perpendicular to Route 4 and knocked a utility pole and wires to the ground.

The accident victim was driving eastbound in a compact car when the trailer crossed into her lane.

Police Chief Samuel Frank said he thinks the driver tried to avoid the flatbed, but ultimately collided with it. The car came to rest on its side in a wooded area just east of the Competition Complex.

There were no passengers in either vehicle, and the driver of the tractor trailer, who Frank had not identified as of Tuesday night, was not injured.

Galusha, the name of the company painted on the door of the truck, is based in New York state.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, Frank said, but officers had not determined last night whether excessive speed contributed.

“We’re not sure past that,” Frank said. “We’re still investigating.”

Route 4 was closed from South Road, which is in front of Mascoma Valley Regional High School, for two and a half miles to Potato Road until about 10 p.m.

When the flatbed hit the telephone pole, it knocked out the main electrical lines to Canaan. As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, Liberty Utilities was reporting 1,115 customers were without power, but by 10 p.m. power was restored.

The accident victim was trapped inside the vehicle, Frank said, adding that when police recognized they were dealing with a fatality, officers “stopped and regrouped.”

“We wanted to preserve the evidence as best as possible,” Frank said.

The State Police traffic accident reconstruction team was called to the scene, as well as the medical examiner and Ricker Funeral Home.

Frank said he didn’t know if either driver was wearing a seatbelt.

By 6 p.m., Ricker Funeral Home had left the scene and Liberty Utilities and FairPoint trucks lined the eastbound lane as they worked to reattach telephone poles in the rain. One utility worker was in a bucket truck and was being lifted to the top of a telephone pole while heavy wires laid flat on the roadway. Just past the strewn electrical wires was a dark blue car turned on its side in the woods. Frank said he didn’t know what type of car the accident victim was driving, but described it as a compact vehicle.

On the other side of the roadway sat the tractor trailer and its flatbed, which had been straightened out since the accident. The medical examiner walked by the tractor trailer taking notes and photographs.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.