HAMPTON, N.H. — Two Massachusetts bicyclists were killed and two others injured when a car veered into the path of participants of a two-day bike ride in Hampton, N.H., on Saturday morning, police said.
Darriean Hess, 20, of Seabrook, N.H., was driving south across the Neil R. Underwood Memorial Bridge on Route 1A, also Ocean Boulevard, when the car she was driving crossed into the northbound lane, police said in a statement.
According to police, Hess struck four bicyclists from the Tri-State Seacoast Century ride around 8:30 a.m. She was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital with minor injuries.
Elise Bouchard, 52, of Danvers, was pronounced dead at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. Pamela Wells, 60, of South Hamilton, was taken to Exeter Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Uwe Uhmeyer, 60, of Essex and Margo Heigh, 54, of Danvers, were hospitalized.
In a phone interview last night, Uhmeyer’s wife, Lori, said her husband had multiple injuries, but “there’s nothing internal and nothing that won’t heal. He’s going to be OK, thank God.”
She said her husband had participated in the Seacoast Century ride for the past two years and taken part in several charity rides.
Heigh was treated at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport and released, a nursing supervisor said Saturday.
At the scene, a guardrail on the southeast edge of the bridge showed a deep dent where it was apparently stuck by the car. Multiple circles, lines, and dots had been drawn in orange spray paint.
A little farther south, a sign reading “Welcome to Seabrook Beach & Harbor New Hampshire” was spun around 180 degrees and deeply cracked.
Jim Gorman lives about a quarter-mile from the accident scene and said he went there about half an hour to 45 minutes after the crash.
“I heard all the sirens, and there were a lot of them, so obviously it had to be something significant,” Gorman said.
Gorman said he found nearly a dozen emergency vehicles at the scene, including police cruisers, ambulances, and fire engines.
He said he was unable to see the accident scene clearly because authorities blocked off the road starting about 100 yards south of the scene.
“Everything was at a standstill, bikes, cars — nobody was going through,” he said. “I just talked to a couple of folks down there, and they said it looked like it was really serious.”
“It’s very sad,” he said. “It should have been a festive day.”
Hess has not been charged with any wrongdoing, dispatcher Karissa Paustian said. The investigation is continuing and anyone with information can call 603-929-4444 or 603-929-1222.