Neither speed nor alcohol played a role in the Brookline, N.H., crash that killed the daughter of a local firefighter who was among the first responders at the scene, the town’s police chief said.
In a telephone interview Thursday, Brookline Police Chief William Quigley said Tuesday’s fatal crash remains under investigation, but police have ruled out excessive speed or intoxication on the part of one of the other drivers in the three-vehicle crash as the cause.
Quigley said it was possible that “driver inattentiveness’’ was the most likely cause for the crash that killed Katie Hamilton, daughter of Brookline firefighter Steve Whitcomb.
“We don’t know if it was because he was talking on his cell, looking at it,’’ Quigley said. “But the mere fact that it’s a wide-open intersection and he rear-ended a woman. . . . We know speed or alcohol impairment was not a factor, so we are trying to rule out driver inattentiveness at this point.’’
According to authorities and relatives, Hamilton was driving south on Route 13 and preparing to turn left onto Route 130 when she was rear-ended by a Toyota Tundra driven by Gregg Cullen, 31, of Milford, N.H. The impact pushed Hamilton’s Ford Explorer into incoming traffic, and she was broadsided by a Ford F250 pickup truck driven by James Ciprotti, 37, of Weare, N.H.
Whitcomb was among the firefighters who responded to the scene. “This was our worst fear come true when you come upon an accident,” Brookline Fire Chief Charlie Corey told the Globe.
Hamilton was the mother of three children, a lifelong resident of Brookline, and also worked with her father in his plumbing business, relatives said.
The crash remains under investigation by the New Hampshire State Police crash reconstruction team, Quigley said. No charges have been filed.