Teen indicted for fatal crash

Pedestrian struck in Lyndeborough in July

MANCHESTER — Lyndeborough resident Grace Wight, the teenage driver police declined to identify in the months following the July 15 auto-pedestrian crash that claimed the life of 60-year-old Debess Rogers, was indicted last week on three charges, including two felonies, stemming from the incident.

Wight, who turned 18 in December, was 17 when the 2013 Dodge truck she was operating struck and fatally injured Rogers as she walked along Lyndeborough’s Center Road around 1:30 a.m.

Wight, of 265 Mountain Road, faces one count each of negligent homicide and reckless conduct involving a deadly weapon, both Class B felonies, and one Class A misdemeanor count of vehicular assault, according to the indictments, which are among those handed down last week by a grand jury for the February term of the Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern Division in Manchester.

An indictment is not an indication, or proof of, guilt, but represents the grand jury’s determination that enough evidence exists for prosecutors to move the case forward in Superior Court.

Under New Hampshire law, people 16 and older charged with crimes stemming from the operation of a motor vehicle are considered adults, meaning their identity and court files are a matter of public record.

In cases not involving driving offenses, defendants 17 or younger are classified as juveniles, meaning their information remains confidential.

Still, state police and members of the Attorney General’s Office declined to release Wight’s name, saying they based the decision on the possibility that if charges were filed, she could be charged as a juvenile — despite the fact that she was 17, and therefore an adult under the motor vehicle provision of state law.

Meanwhile, the negligent homicide charge accuses Wight of negligently causing Rogers’ death by “crossing into the opposite lane of travel” while driving on Mountain Road.

Although the indictment states Mountain Road, previous reports state that the crash happened on Center Road.

The reckless conduct charge alleges that Wight “recklessly engaged in conduct that placed … another in danger of seriously bodily injury” by driving into the opposite lane and striking Rogers. Wight’s truck, according to the indictment, “constitutes a deadly weapon … in the manner in which it was used.”

Vehicular assault, the misdemeanor charge, alleges that Wight “negligently caused the death of another” while driving a vehicle, which “caused or materially contributed to the collision … that caused (Rogers’) death.”

Wight will be arraigned Friday, March 17, at Superior Court North in Manchester.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@cabinet.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.

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