, Derry, New Hampshire


May 9, 2013

Derry teen recovers after being struck by car


The five-day carnival attracted crowds of people, many teenagers, who crossed the road for food or facilities.

Sophia was in front of Lauren when the group headed across the road.

Sophia was hit first, suffering serious head trauma, according to Gendreau. Lauren was then hit twice by a car, her mother said, but did not suffer serious injuries.

“She had her foot run over and her elbow was scathed,” Gendreau said. “Her foot is swollen and there are cuts on her elbows. She never landed on her head, which was a godsend.”

Lauren was taken to Parkland Medical Center and released later that night, her mother said.

Police said there were two vehicles involved, a 2011 Toyota RAV 4 driven by George Draper, 63, of Bow and a 2013 Acura RDX driven by Anne Bartlett, 58, of Manchester. Police have not released which car hit Lauren, but said Sophia was hit by both cars.

Police Capt. Vern Thomas said Monday police are still investigating the crash. He said he couldn’t say if charges would be filed. He also couldn’t say when the investigation would be completed.

If it were up to Gendreau, she doesn’t think the drivers should be charged.

“I think it was just an accident,” she said. “I think the drivers were distracted by the bright lights of the carnival. They were probably looking up instead of looking down.”

Flowers, teddy bears, balloons and candles have been placed in a makeshift memorial near Burger King.

After the crash, Gendreau said, she reached out to Sophia’s father to offer her condolences.

“It’s ironic because my husband and his brother know each other from going to (Calvary Bible Church in Derry) together,” she said. “But the girls were virtual strangers.”

At Hood Middle School, teachers and administrators were prepared to help anyone struggling to handle the accident.

Superintendent Laura Nelson said counseling was made available this week for any student who needed it.

“We know a number of our students were at the carnival that night,” Nelson said. “When an incident like this occurs, counseling is always something we try to make available.”

On Saturday, the final day of the carnival, police had put up an electronic billboard, warning motorists of pedestrians in the area.

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