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.

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