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Tilton driver, passenger and dog killed in violent Belmont wreck

Union Leader Correspondent

July 05. 2018 9:17PM
The Tilton man at the wheel of this Toyota Rav 4 died in a three-vehicle crash on Route 106 in Belmont Wednesday night, as did his passenger and a dog in the vehicle. (COURTESY)

BELMONT — Speed does not appear to have been a factor in a three-vehicle crash Wednesday night on Route 106 that claimed the lives of two people and their dog.

Police say a northbound Toyota Rav 4 driven by a Tilton man crossed the solid double-yellow line about 6:30 p.m., struck a compact car and collided head-on with a heavy-duty Ford F-350 pickup.

The passenger in the Rav 4 died at the scene; the driver died later at Lakes Region General Hospital, according to Belmont Fire Chief Ken Erickson.

Police have not yet identified the victims. A dog in the vehicle was taken to an after-hours emergency veterinary clinic in Meredith, but it died as well.

Citing eyewitnesses and physical evidence at the scene, police believe the 2007 Rav 4 crossed the center line and struck the driver’s side of a 2016 Hyundai Veloster driven by Timothy Lanza of Manchester. The impact sent the Toyota into a spin in the southbound lane, where it was immediately struck by the F-350, which had been behind the Veloster.

Lanza was uninjured. Laura Beebe of Belmont, the driver of the F-350, sustained multiple injuries and was taken by ambulance to Concord Hospital, where she underwent surgery. A passenger in the truck, Erin Malloy, also of Belmont, was uninjured, according to police.

“It was a long night out there,” said Chief Erickson, explaining that the final crew didn’t leave until 1:30 a.m. Thursday after working to remove debris, sweep up shattered glass and clean the road surface of spilled gasoline, antifreeze and motor oil.

The accident happened on a straightaway in front of the Belmont Park & Ride, just north of the intersection of routes 106 and 104.

Belmont firefighters used hydraulic tools to cut the victims from the Rav 4. The section of highway known locally as Laconia Road was closed from River Street to Wildlife Boulevard for more than six hours.

Belmont Police Capt. Richard Mann said speed does not appear to be a contributing factor in the crash, but the cause remains unknown.

The Belknap Regional Accident Investigation Team is assisting in the investigation. A collision reconstruction analysis is underway, police said.

The incident was the second with a deadly toll in as many months on Route 106. On June 11, Andrew Smith, 63, of Attleboro, Mass., was killed when his truck collided with another pickup driven by Leon Ellsworth, 63, of Gilmanton. The cause of that crash remains under investigation.

Public Safety Animals Belmont Transportation

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