GILFORD — A three-car accident on Route 11 in front of the scenic area overlooking the Broads of Lake Winnipesaukee took the life of a woman who was driving one of the cars yesterday at 11:55 a.m.
Four other people were taken by ambulances from Gilford and Laconia to Lakes Region General Hospital for what fire officials describe as non life-threatening injuries.
Det. Sgt. Chris Jacques, who is also a member of the Belknap Regional Accident Investigation Team that investigated the crash, said police are not releasing any details at this time until family members can be notified and the reconstruction is complete.
According to Gilford Fire Chief Steve Carrier, there were three people in a silver Toyota sedan, one person in a dark colored sedan and one person in a dark SUV involved. He said the female driver of the Toyota was killed and a "toddler" from her car was one of those taken to the hospital.
He said the silver car was the most seriously damaged. Carrier said the child was in a car seat that appeared to be properly installed and he said he "believes it significantly reduced the (child's) injuries."
He said the two other people in the silver sedan and the driver of one of the other vehicle needed to be extricated. The other driver was able to get out of his car.
Two young men who were visiting a friend who lives off Scenic Drive said they walked up through the woods and up the hill to the rest area to see what happened. They said the occupants of the home heard the crash.
"The silver car looked like a crushed beer car," said one of the men. He said they didn't see any people except police and rescue workers near the cars.
They said the silver car was in the center of the road and from their vantage point, they were only able to see the Toyota and the dark sedan. The SUV was further west and was in the scenic pull off area.
In yesterday's crash, police said they don't think speed, alcohol or drugs were a factor.
The road was closed from noon until just 7:18 p.m. while BRAIT and Gilford Police investigated. Carrier said there was quite a bit of oil from the crash that needed to be absorbed before the road was reopened.
Traffic was re-routed down Scenic Drive.