Lee police chief seeks more safety measures on Route 125
By JOHN QUINN Union Leader Correspondent
On Friday, Lee police direct traffic along Route 125 while members of The Crash Lab take measurements as part of an independent investigation into a serious accident involving a 98,000-pound crane April 1. The driver of the car which struck the crane, which is owned by American Crane Co Inc. in Hooksett, remains in critical condition. (JOHN QUINN PHOTO)
LEE - Police Chief Chet Murch is urging the state to implement more safety measures on Route 125 after a crash with a large crane left a Dover man in critical condition.
On Friday, police returned to the scene of the April 1 crash just south of the Lee Traffic Circle, to help direct traffic while members of The Crash Lab, based in Hampton, conducted an investigation for the American Crane Co. Inc.
Sgt. Thomas Dronsfield said police continue to investigate what led to the crash.
He said police have been unable to speak to Justin Mills, 37, of Dover, who was driving a northbound Subaru that crossed the center line and collided with the southbound crane, driven by Brian Daigle, 24, of New Boston.
"We won't rule anything out," Dronsfield said.
Mills was flown by Dartmouth-Hitchcok helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
As of Friday morning, Mills remained in critical condition at Mass. General, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Police believe Mills may not have been wearing his seatbelt, but airbags deployed as a result of the crash.
Daigle escaped injuries even though the crane crashed into the nearby woods on the northbound side of the road.
Due to the severity of the accident, Murch said he felt it was necessary to write another letter to the state Department of Transportation to reiterate his plea for the state to add more saftey precautions on the road. Murch said he's previously asked the state - most recently in 2011 - to consider such steps, including signs and center-line rumble strips, along sections of Route 125.
"I voiced my concerns about Route 125 - clearly it hasn't come to fruition," Murch said, adding DOT officials previously inspected the road and held hearings in the past.
Murch said he feels center-line rumble strips, which have been installed along parts of several other highways in the state, will save lives, especially as traffic continues to increase in the area.
As of a 2005 study, he said about 20,000 vehicles use Route 125 and about 17,000 vehicles travel on Route 4 on a daily basis.
Murch is confident more vehicles currently use the two roadways, which intersect at the Lee Traffic Circle. He said the state already has plans to improve the rotary.