Home » News » Public Safety
Good Samaritans save driver after vehicle crashes into brook
A Londonderry firefighter in water rescue gear looked on as workers pulled a car from Beaver Brook Thursday afternoon. The unidentified driver was pulled from the car by a group of bystanders. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)
Emergency crews responded to the reports of a motor vehicle crash on Gilcreast Road near Charleston Avenue shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday.
Upon arrival, police and fire officials discovered a black Toyota sedan on its roof and partially under water, with the female victim regaining consciousness on the shore, acting Fire Chief Darren O'Brien said.
Police identified the vehicle's driver as Laurie Donofrio, 43, of Windham.
According to fire officials, the vehicle was traveling toward Route 102 at the time of the crash. The initial investigation indicated that Donofrio suffered a medical issue causing her to lose control of her car, hit a guardrail and flip over the embankment, landing in the middle of the brook.
A witness told fire officials that Donofrio was unresponsive and wasn't breathing after bystanders broke one of the car's windows and pulled her onto the shore.
Another bystander reportedly performed CPR on Donofrio.
"By the time we got here, she was awake and was coughing up water," O'Brien said. "She appeared relatively alert but was somewhat disoriented."
Donofrio reportedly told fire crews her husband had been driving the vehicle at the time of the crash, leading fire officials to promptly put on their wetsuits and begin an extensive search of the surrounding waters.
Soon after, however, it was confirmed that Donofrio's husband, Paul, was safely at work and wasn't involved in the crash.
Donofrio was taken to Parkland Medical Center in Derry where she was being treated for injuries described as not life-threatening.
"Those bystanders were the heroes today," O'Brien said. "If it weren't for their actions, there probably would have been a significantly different outcome."
Since a small amount of fuel leaked into the brook, emergency crews set up a hazardous material collection device downstream, and the state DES has been notified of the incident.
Staff from Bachmann's Towing used hydraulic tools to drag the car out of the creek bed and fasten it to a tow truck. The vehicle sustained heavy front-end and side damage.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Lost Massachusetts hikers found safe in NH - 0
- City police schedule community meeting - 1
- Missing Massachusetts woman returns home - 0
- Nashua man's condition upgraded after Hudson bicycle-car collision - 0
- Missing autistic Maine teen found in Jefferson woods - 0
- Nashua bicyclist hurt in collision with car - 0
- Three injured in Route 16 accident in Ossipee - 0
- State fire marshal urges eventual ban on all fireworks - 23
- Manchester welcomes 14 new police recruits - 7
READER COMMENTS: 3
- Claremont police dispatcher charged with sex assault and incest, placed on leave - 0
- Speeding stop leads to drug and alcohol charges in Hollis - 0
- Allen Lessels on Motor Sports: Youngsters eye NHMS - 0
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Manchester's bike culture shifts into high gear - 0
- Ignoring Lyme: What are state, towns doing? - 1
- Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat: Red Sox makeover underway - 1
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: MacDonald has NHMS track experience - 0
- Drew Cline: Scott Brown plans to win over NH one handshake at a time - 8
- Anthony M. Kay - 0
132-mph street racers blow by trooper in Nashua, one of two arrested; motorcyclist arrested on I-93 doing 107 mph
Police say Manchester woman arrested for punching ex-boyfriend during custody exchange in Walmart parking lot
Mount Washington College to close 2 campuses
Bikers say under-30 generation isn't interested, and can't afford many of the top motorcycles
Ban fireworks? Get serious
GOP criticizes Shaheen over gas tax
Sentence fragment: Coco's cuckoo release
Ayotte calls again for FCC reform