Hartland Man Gets New Charges in Fatal Crash

  • Daniel Cowdrey, 38, of Hartland, Vt., left, listens as attorney Paul Groce, right, speaks for him during his arraignment in Lebanon District Court on a charge of negligent homicide Thursday, May 26, 2016. Cowdrey is alleged to have been driving drunk, traveling north in the southbound lane of Interstate 89 in Lebanon, N.H. when he hit a car driven by Ellyn Koelsch, of Cranston, R.I. Koelsch was killed in the crash and her young son was seriously injured. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

North Haverhill — A 40-year-old Hartland man accused of causing a wrong-way crash in May 2016 on Interstate 89 that killed a Rhode Island woman and injured her young son has been indicted on two additional felony charges.

Daniel Cowdrey now faces a second reckless manslaughter charge, as well as a reckless conduct charge.

The reckless conduct charge is related to an incident just prior to the fatal crash.

Cowdrey allegedly hit a SUV driven by Jessica Duplin as he drove the wrong way on an Exit 19 off-ramp in Lebanon around 9 p.m., before proceeding to drive northbound in the southbound lanes of I-89, according to the indictment paperwork.

Moments later, just south of Exit 20 in West Lebanon, Cowdrey’s vehicle slammed into a car driven by 34-year-old Ellynn Koelsch, of Cranston, R.I.

Koelsch was killed, and her then-4-year-old son suffered a broken leg, according to police. The new manslaughter charge is related to Koelsch’s death.

He is slated to be arraigned on the two new charges on Nov. 13.

Cowdrey pleaded not guilty to five charges that he was indicted on in April. One charge was driving under the influence of “intoxicating liquor and/or marijuana” or a “combination of both” at the time of the crash.

New Hampshire State Police Trooper Michael McLaughlin said on Tuesday that Duplin wasn’t injured in the incident on the off-ramp.

He said Cowdrey “narrowly missed” hitting several other vehicles that night.

The state has dismissed one of two aggravated driving under the influence charges filed against Cowdrey.

He now faces six felony charges: aggravated DUI, negligent homicide — DUI, first-degree assault on a person under the age of 13, reckless conduct with a deadly weapon and two counts of reckless manslaughter.

The case summary indicates settlement talks have been in the works since the summer.

A settlement conference was held at the end of September; it was a confidential hearing that wasn’t open to the public.

Cowdrey is scheduled to have a final pretrial conference today. He remains out on bail.

A message left for Cowdrey’s attorney, Jeremiah Newhall, wasn’t returned.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.