Father, daughter fighting for their lives after last week's Gilford crash


By DAN SEUFERT
Union Leader Correspondent |
January 09. 2017 8:07PM

Accident victims Brent Stranger and his two-year-old daughter Arianna, both at right, remain in the Intensive Care Unit Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon after last week's crash in Gilford. Sarah Kunst, at left, holds the couple's other child, their son Aiden. Sarah Kunst suffered a broken arm in the crash, Aiden was uninjured. (COURTESY)







ALTON -- About a month ago, Sarah Kunst and Brent Stranger were busy welcoming their second child, Aiden, into the world, an event that brought joy to the couple and their two-year-old daughter, Arianna.

But on Monday, Aiden was the only healthy member of the family.

All four family members were in a car crash on Route 11 in Gilford on Jan. 2. Sarah Kunst suffered a broken arm, but Stranger and daughter Arianna were found trapped in the car with very serious injuries. Both were flown to Darmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center by helicopter.

As of Monday afternoon, father and daughter were still fighting for their lives, both still comatose in critical condition at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

Doctors aren’t sure of their prognosis, said family friend Kimberly Martin.

“It’s very touch and go at the moment,” she said. “Brent’s mother has not left his side at the hospital. The family is doing OK considering everything that has happened. They are trying to stay strong for Brent and Arianna but I’m sure it is one of the hardest things they have ever gone through.”

The family’s sedan collided with a van headed in the opposite direction in the area of Lake Shore Road and Lockes Hill Road just after 8 p.m.

Police are still investigating. “We won’t know what exactly happened there until we get the reports from the accident reconstruction teams,” said Gilford Police Lt. Kristian Kelley.

Stranger is a lifelong resident of Alton. Kunst grew up in Barnstead. Both are well known in their chosen hometown of Alton, Martin said.

“They are the nicest family you’d ever meet,” said Ty Libby, Kunst’s boss at the Alton McDonald’s restaurant. “They would both do anything for anyone that needed them.”

Area residents and family members are pitching in now to help the couple and their children. The Alton McDonald’s is planning fundraising events to help them, Libby said, and Kunst’s sister is planning a fundraiser in the coming weeks at The Vibe Salon in Bedford, Martin said.

A GoFundMe page started by Martin had raised $12,235 of its $20,000 goal to help the family, but more money is needed, she said. Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/help-sarah-brents-family.

“I do not know exactly how much everything is going to cost,” Martin said, “but after the medical bills, the hotel room Sarah is staying at right next to the hospital, food, the needs of their one-month-old, the rent at their home and utilities, and just everyday necessities, it’s going to be very costly.”

dseufert@newstote.com
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