New Hampshire woman charged with negligent homicide in crash that killed 2 cyclists

The 19-year-old driver who fatally struck two cyclists Saturday morning in Hampton, N.H., has been charged with negligent homicide and second-degree assault, authorities said Tuesday.

Jim Reams, the Rockingham County Attorney in New Hampshire, said Darriean Hess of Seabrook, N.H., was speeding when she veered across Route 1A and crashed into a group of cyclists participating in a 100-mile ride along the coast.

She was driving at a speed that was “not reasonable given the events that were taking place that day and all the warnings we had posted,” Reams said at a news conference. He would not specify how fast she was driving, but said witnesses were “surprised” by her speed.

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Pamela Wells, 60, of South Hamilton and Elise Bouchard, 52, of Danvers were killed.

Hess was arrested around 3 p.m. today, Reams said.

Reams said it was “too early to tell” whether additional charges will be filed against Hess, who was driving without a license.

Hess had been stopped for speeding in nearly the exact spot just hours before the crash. She was pulled over at 12:45 a.m. Saturday for driving nearly twice the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit. After being stopped for speeding, Hess was not allowed to drive. She was released when a friend arrived to drive her car.

In another fatality, a 21-year-old cyclist from Massachusetts was killed in Ohio Monday evening when she was hit from behind by an SUV.

Emilee Gagnon, of Holliston, was riding cross-country to California while raising money for multiple sclerosis research, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which is investigating the accident.

The driver, a 49-year-old Ohio woman, was adjusting her visor to shield against the sun when she struck Gagnon, throwing her from her bicycle. Gagnon was wearing a helmet but sustained fatal injuries.

Neither speed nor alcohol are considered factors in the crash, authorities said.

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