Police investigation into accident that killed Lily Johnson complete; report is now with county attorney, who will decide what's next
Published DateLACONIA — Belknap County Attorney Melissa Gulbrandsen said yesterday that she is in the process of reviewing the police report of the traffic accident that took the life of Lily Johnson and severely injured Alyssa Miner on April 19 in order to determine whether to bring charges against the driver of the vehicle, Amy LaFond.
"I consider this an ongoing investigation," Gulbrandsen said, explaining that although she has what she called "a large file," which includes the report of the investigation conducted by the Police Department and the medical records of the two victims, "the file is not yet complete." She said that she has not received the report of the Belknap County Accident Reconstruction Team and other information she declined to specify.
Gulbrandsen also declined to indicate when she expected to complete her review and reach a decision, repeating that "it is an ongoing investigation." If Gulbrandsen decides to press charges, she will seek an indictment from the Belknap County Grand Jury, which convenes once each month and has already met in July.
Police Chief Chris Adams said that the investigation of the incident undertaken by patrolmen and detectives of the Laconia Police Department, which drew on information gathered from witness's statements, search warrants and laboratory tests, was complete and the matter now rests with the Gulbrandsen.
Johnson and Miner, both 14 and eighth grade students at Laconia Middle School, were struck by a Jeep Cherokee, driven by Lafond, 52, of 10 River Street, Laconia, while on the sidewalk on the Messer Street Bridge, near the intersection of Opechee Street and Messer Street at approximately 2:30 p.m. on April 19.
According to police, Lafond was traveling northbound on Messer Street toward its intersection with Opechee Street at the foot of the Messer Street Bridge, where a pedestrian crosswalk crosses Messer Street. A car going in the same direction had stopped at the crosswalk, apparently to enable a number of middle school students standing at the corner to cross the street.
About the same time, the two girls had walked down Opechee Street to the intersection, turned the corner on to the sidewalk and were walking along the sidewalk on the west side of the Messer Street Bridge. For reasons that remain to be determined, Lafond skirted the stopped car, crossed into the southbound lane of Messer Street and mounted the raised sidewalk via a ramp, then hit the two girls from behind.