After collision with bear, NH man struck, killed by car in Charlestown

Staff Report

Published: 10-22-2022 4:19 PM

CHARLESTOWN — A 20-year-old North Walpole, N.H., man died after being hit by a car while he was inspecting the damage to the car he was riding in after it hit a bear on Bellows Falls Road in Charlestown on Thursday evening, Charlestown police said in a Friday news release.

Police said that a 17-year-old female Charlestown resident was driving a 2002 Ford Focus north on Bellows Falls Road, also known as Route 12, on Thursday evening. Her passengers included the 20-year-old North Walpole man and a 17-year-old male Charlestown resident.

As they drove north, they struck a bear as it crossed the road in front of them. The collision caused “significant disabling damage” to the Ford Focus, which stopped in the northbound travel portion of Bellows Falls Road. The three occupants of the Focus exited the vehicle to inspect the damage.

As they were doing so, a 2017 Volvo S60 operated by a 59-year-old Claremont man also traveling north on Bellows Falls Road collided with the rear end of the Focus and the 20-year-old North Walpole man, who died at the scene. The Focus’ driver sustained minor injuries, and family members transported her to the hospital.

The department was withholding the names of those involved until families are notified.

The news release did not indicate the status of the bear.

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All parties involved in the crash, which occurred at about 8:30 p.m., are cooperating with the investigation, and police said there’s no indication that impairment, distracted driving or speed were factors in the incident.

The investigation is ongoing. Police ask those with information about the incident to contact Charlestown Police Chief Patrick Connors or Lt. Jonathan Graham at 603-826-5747.

In addition to Charlestown Police, the Charlestown Fire Department, Charlestown Rescue, the New Hampshire State Police, the Langdon, N.H., Police Department, North Walpole Police Department and Golden Cross Ambulance responded to the scene.