Brake failure said to have caused Center Harbor wreck

CENTER HARBOR — An investigation found that the brakes failed on the Chevrolet Avalanche that struck the building at 24 Plymouth Street housing Dewey's Ice Cream Parlor and Cafe on Wednesday afternoon.

The driver, Joshua Nungesser, 19, of 159 Old Center Harbor Road, Meredith, was traveling toward the center of town on Coe Hill Road when he discovered his brakes had failed and he could not slow his vehicle. He proceeded along Main Street then, apparently intending to avoid encountering traffic on Route 25-B and Route 25, sought to turn left on to Plymouth Street, where the uphill grade would have slowed his vehicle. But, he failed to make the corner, first hitting a utility pole, which snapped in two, and then the building before coming to rest on the porch.

Nungesser, who was alone in the vehicle, was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital with what Police Chief Mark Chase described as non-life threatening injuries.

Kendra Bickford, one of two employees at the ice cream parlor, when the accident occurred, told WMUR-TV that they saw the Avalanche coming down Main Street at a high speed heard the "screeching wheels" and saw the truck crash into the shop. She said that as the windows shattered, showering the shop with broken glass, her workmate jumped under the counter and a customer in the doorway fell down. The employees and customer escaped injury.

Chase said that the Avalanche appeared to be a total loss. Fire Chief Leon Manville said that damage to the two-story building was confined to the ice cream parlor and a second business and eight apartments were not significantly affected.