LACONIA — Police will not be pressing any criminal charges against a Belmont woman who stuck and killed a man in a wheel chair while he was crossing South Main Street in a designated crosswalk area last June.
The final police investigation that was reviewed by The Daily Sun said Claire Haynes struck John Guiffrida at 2:45 p.m. on June 7 as he was attempting to cross the street after shopping at Vista Foods. She was headed northbound and the weather was clear.
During their investigation, city police used the services of the Belknap Regional Accident Reconstruction Team — a group of police officers specially trained in motor vehicle crashed and their causes — for their investigation.
About 15 interviews with witnesses were completed and a video tape of the crash was obtained from a security camera owned by the nearby Meredith Village Savings Bank branch office
Police said Haynes stopped immediately after the crash and got out of her van. She stayed on the scene and cooperated with police — allowing herself to be taken to Lakes Region General Hospital where she voluntarily submitted to tests to determine in she had consumed anything that may have affected her ability to drive. She had not, said police.
After reviewing all of the information, local police determined that Guiffrida's death was tragic but Haynes role in it didn't rise to the level of criminal behavior.
"We would have to prove in a court of law that she was either reckless or negligent and there is not enough evidence for that," said Lt. Richard Simmons.
Simmons noted that Haynes was not speeding, was not distracted by a cellular phone or any other device and was not impaired by any drugs and alcohol.
Simmons added that since Guiffrida's death, the police have recommended frequent painting of the heavily used cross walk by the Department of Public Works and the addition of a "pedestrian crossing" sign that can be used when there is no snow on the ground — both of which were used last summer. He expects both will be used this summer as well.
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