JIM HADDADIN, The Nashua Telegraph, Reprinted with Permission
BROOKLINE, NH – A 30-year-old woman was killed in a crash just hundreds of feet from her parents’ home Tuesday morning when police say she was struck from behind, sending her vehicle into the path of an oncoming truck.
The crash took the life of Katie Hamilton, of Brookline, at about 9:05 a.m. at the intersection of Routes 13 and 130 right in front of the Brookline Safety Complex. One of the first responders to the accident was Hamilton’s father, according to Brookline Police Chief Bill Quigley.
Hamilton was driving a 2006 Ford Explorer SUV and her vehicle was struck from behind while she was driving south on Route 13. Quigley said she was either stopped or slowing down to make a left turn onto Milford Street when she was hit by a silver 2009 Toyota pickup truck behind her.
“At the last minute – we don’t know if it was driver distraction or what the cause was, we haven’t been able to determine that – he swerved to avoid hitting her and still struck her on the very right rear corner of her vehicle, forcing her to come over to the northbound lane,” Quigley said
Quigley said Hamilton’s SUV was shoved into oncoming traffic on Route 130 and was struck by a 2004 Ford F250 truck heading north in the opposite lane. She was pronounced dead at the scene by State Medical Examiner Rick McLaughlin.
Hamilton was a mother of three, and lived with her husband on Bond Street about a mile away from the crash. Her father, Stephen Whitcomb, said he worked with his daughter in a plumbing business.
The crash that took Hamilton’s life happened a few hundred feet from the family home where she grew up on Milford Street. Hours later, Whitcomb was still coming to terms with the loss of his youngest daughter.
“You grieve and then you try to put it all back together,” he said.
He described his daughter as an outspoken person who was never afraid to voice her opinions.
“She’d tell you what’s on her mind,” he said.
Susan Jambard, one of Hamilton’s former neighbors, said her own children are about the same age as Hamilton, and they used to spend time together growing up.
“I have two grandchildren now, and I just can’t imagine,” she said. “It’s just been heartbreaking.”
The driver of the Toyota was identified as Greg Cullen, 31, of Milford. The driver of the Ford was identified as James Ciprotti, 37, of Weare.
Cullen and Ciprotti received medical evaluations at the scene and were not taken to hospitals. There were no passengers in any of the vehicles.
Quigley said it does not appear that speed or impairment were factors in the crash. Hollis firefighters and Investigators from the New Hampshire State Police assisted at the crash scene.
Additional Updates (as of 4pm 12/25)
- The Union Leader quoted Brookline Police Chief as saying “Her father was the one who pulled her out of the car without knowing it was her.”
- CBS Boston reported that Hamilton was driving to her parent’s house at the time of the crash.
- Whitcomb is listed as a firefighter with the Brookline Fire Department. He is a member of Company 1, Rescue 1. Brookline is a volunteer fire department that is nearly 200 years old. The department lost its Assistant Chief, Curt Jenson, unexpectedly just a month ago.
- Condolences to the family are coming from all over. The circumstances and the timing of the incident on Christmas Eve has resulted in the story being reported around the world.