No ID on driver in fatal accident
Lyndeborough crash left 1 woman dead
LYNDEBOROUGH – State police have not identified the teen driver in a crash that killed a Lyndeborough grandmother last week.
Debess Rogers, 60, was walking along Center Road in Lyndeborough, not far from her home, when she was hit by a truck driven by a 17-year-old Lyndeborough girl.
The blue 2013 Dodge Ram was traveling north, and Rogers was walking north on the southbound side of the road, sometime before 2:38 a.m. when the truck drifted into the southbound lane, near the road’s shoulder, and struck Rogers, according to state police. She was declared dead at the scene. The driver was not injured.
Rogers and her husband had reportedly returned from a concert in Massachusetts that night when their car broke down about a half mile from their Mountain Road home. Rogers was walking to get another vehicle while her husband, who had a knee injury, waited with the car.
Rogers had worked at the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Greenfield for many years until 2014. Program manager Doreen Madore said employees were shocked and saddened by the news of her death.
As a community living instructor, she helped developmentally disabled residents find meaningful activities, said Madore, who described Rogers as a highly skilled professional who offered quality care.
"She was respectful of clients who are sometimes treated as children," Madore said. "She truly saw them as adults and individuals and was extremely sensitive to their needs."
Madore said Rogers helped one client with cerebral palsy – "a brilliant mind locked in a body that was not functioning" – attend Keene State College and work toward a degree.
She also described Rogers as a "glowing grandparent" and an old hippie who attended "The Gathering of the Vibes" celebration of the Grateful Dead in Bridgeport, Conn., every year.
"We are all very saddened," Madore said. "She left us on really good terms to pursue professional goals."
There were also expressions of sorrow on the Facebook page of Milford’s Unitarian Universalist Church, where Rogers was a member. A memorial service will be held at the church at 1: 30 p.m. Friday, July 22.
She left her husband, Guntis Grabazs, their three children and spouses, and two grandchildren.
According to Rogers’ obituary, she had volunteered at a local hospice, the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter and Milford’s Share Outreach.
State police are investigating the crash with help from the Lyndeborough Police Department. They are asking anyone with information to contact Trooper 1st Class Michael J. Pelletier at 223-8699 or preferably by email at michael. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pelletier did not return phone calls and an email from The Cabinet. He reportedly said the driver’s name is being withheld because of her age. Under the state’s Right to Know Law, however, the names of licensed drivers, no matter their age, are part of the public record.
Lyndeborough Police Chief Rainsford Deware said state police are handling the investigation, and that there is no information he can provide.
Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100