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May 06. 2013 7:30PM

Officials continue investigation of deadly Keene accident

KEENE - The Hinsdale man and woman involved in a fiery crash on Route 12 in Keene Friday morning died of multiple blunt force trauma injuries and the manner of death has been ruled an accident, the medical examiner's office said Monday.

Douglas Farr Jr., 32, had been driving a 2011 Hyundai south on Route 12 with his passenger Erin Breault, 35, police said Friday.

Autopsies of the crash victims were performed Saturday.

The preliminary investigation suggests the Hyundai crossed the center line into the path of a northbound JP Noonan Transportation tractor-trailer unit driven by Jeffrey J. Cloran, 54, of Becket, Mass.

On Monday Keene police Lt. Steven Tenney said Cloran got out of the cab of the tractor-trailer immediately after impact.

Cloran was taken by ambulance to Cheshire Medical Center and was later released with minor injuries.

Police continue to investigate the cause of the crash; factors such as speed and alcohol have yet to be ruled out, said Tenney.

Farr had been involved in a fatal shooting in a remote area of Chesterfield on North Hinsdale Road a year ago.

Emergency responders were called to the winding, narrow dirt road in the area of Bradley Road mid-afternoon on April 13, 2012 for a report of two persons suffering gunshot wounds. A medical evacuation helicopter flew in to assist.

Farr had been found injured and was hospitalized with a gunshot wound.

Mark McAuley, 39, of Hinsdale was found deceased. An autopsy revealed he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The Attorney General's office has yet to conclude its investigation into the shooting.

Monday, Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said he could not say if Farr is a shooting suspect since the case is still under investigation.

Hinckley said the Attorney General's office is not involved with the crash investigation and that it is unknown at this point what impact Farr's death would have on the ongoing shooting investigation.

"It's a little too preliminary to answer that. It's still an active investigation. What if any impact Farr's death will have on the investigation we'll have to wait and see," Hinckley said.

According to her Facebook page, Hinsdale was Breault's hometown. She was the mother of a teenage daughter.

She graduated from Hinsdale Senior High School in 1996, attended River Valley Community College in Claremont and had worked as an LNA at Maplewood Nursing home in Westmoreland.

The crash occurred on Route 12 around 10:28 a.m. on Friday between West Street and the Route 9 off ramp.

The tractor-trailer was fully loaded with approximately 5,000 gallons of petroleum products, police said.

After impact, the tractor-trailer caught fire, rupturing one of the trailer fuel cells. It took firefighters an hour to control the fire to the point at which it was safe for emergency workers to approach the scene.

The fire also damaged power lines running over the highway, further complicating the difficult removal of the tractor-trailer. The highway was closed to traffic until about 8 p.m. that night.

mpierce@newstote.com

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