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Rochester woman grateful her dog wasn't hurt when truck plowed into home

Union Leader Correspondent

December 06. 2017 3:10PM
Irene Turner tells reporters Wednesday she is grateful her dog Abbey was not hurt when a driver crashed into her Rochester home. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

ROCHESTER -- There’s a gaping hole and part of the 350-year-old home she grew up in is in ruins, but Irene Turner says she’s just grateful that her beloved dog wasn’t killed when the pickup truck crashed into the house early Wednesday.

Turner, 72, who lives on the corner of Lowell Street and Tebbetts Road in rural Rochester, said 9-year-old Abbey usually sleeps in the patio area that was destroyed when the GMC 2500 hit the house. The patio and newly redone (and only) bathroom were destroyed.

Turner said she decided to bring Abbey inside as she went to bed Tuesday night. She’d heard news reports predicting thunderstorms and the dog does not like thunder and lightning, she said. “Something told me not to leave her out there for some reason,” Turner said.

At about midnight, Turner woke up when she heard a boom.

Brad Locke, a neighbor and a relative, also heard the crash.

As neighbors and police arrived, the occupants of the truck were nowhere to be seen. Police were working Wednesday to determine who was driving it.

According to Rochester police Capt. Jason Thomas, officers have spoken with owners of the Sanbornville contracting company whose phone number was painted on the tailgate of the truck.

Thomas said police believe the truck had been sold to someone else, and the contractor was not involved. Thomas said he could not disclose whether there was evidence of alcohol or drug use inside the truck because the investigation is continuing.

Turner said this isn’t the first time someone has crashed into her home; another driver plowed into the home in 2004.

Hannah Dowaliby, Turner’s 20-year-old granddaughter, arrived at the scene soon after the crash and was at the house again Wednesday.

“I was just like, ‘Here we go again,’” Dowaliby said.

Turner said she grew up in the historic home and now lives there with her husband, Floyd, 77, and three other dogs. All of the dogs are 9 or 10 years old.

Anyone with information about the crash can call Rochester police at 330-7127.

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