TILTON — A local man who died Tuesday from injuries received when he was struck by a tractor trailer was on his way to visit his son when the accident occurred, a neighbor said Wednesday.
Francis Houghton, 70, was riding on a motorized scooter, and apparently attempting to cross East Main Street (Route 3) between Lowes Drive and Morrison Avenue, where his son lives, when the accident happened at about 2:35 p.m. Tuesday.
Houghton was rushed with extensive injuries to Franklin Regional Hospital, where he died a short time later.
Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier said the driver of the tractor trailer did not realize his vehicle had hit someone until officers told him after they stopped the truck at the Tilton-Franklin line. Police identified the driver as Michael McKallagat, of Haverhill, Massachusetts. The rig was owned by AMA Transportation, of Billerica, Massachusetts, police said.
McKallagat is cooperating fully with accident investigators, Cormier said.
Houghton was wounded in combat during the Vietnam War while he was serving in the Army, according to longtime neighbor Ken Cassavaugh. “He didn’t talk much about his war service,” said Cassavaugh, who along with his wife Katherine lived next door to Houghton on Sherwood Drive for 30 years.
Houghton retired about four or five years ago as head of maintenance for the Concord School District, Cassavaugh said.
Cassavaugh said he saw Houghton all bundled up riding down Sherwood Drive on his motorized scooter about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday. “I said, ‘I bet he’s going to visit Chris,’” referring to Houghton’s son, Christopher, who just recently moved from Concord into a house at 120 East Main St. so as to be closer to his father.
The accident took place across the street from Christopher Houghton’s house, almost 3 miles from where his father lived.
Cassavaugh described the elder Houghton as a “very caring neighbor.”
His wife died a year and a half ago, Cassavaugh said, and last December he underwent heart bypass surgery.
In his younger years Houghton liked to go camping and he rode his motorcycle up until three years ago, Cassavaugh recalled. He started using the motorized scooter to get around this past summer, he said.
The accident is still under investigation, but at this time, there are no pending charges, Cormier said. Anyone with additional information or who witnessed the accident is asked to contact the Tilton Police Department at 603-286-4442.