Police: No fault in fatal 202 accident

PETERBOROUGH — Peterborough police have completed an investigation into the Feb. 28 accident on Route 202 that resulted in the death of Peterborough resident Michael Dugrenier, and have been unable to determine a cause of the accident.

Dugrenier, 51, was walking on the state highway near South Meadow school at about 6:30 p.m. when he was hit by a 2012 Cooper, driven by Peter Blais, 34, of Concord. Dugrenier was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a statement about the completed investigation, Peterborough Police Chief Scott Guinard wrote, “Investigators could not determine the exact cause of this collision needed to lay fault on either party, Blais or Dugrenier.”

Guinard said the N.H Medical Examiner’s office determined that Dugrenier had “an unusually high blood-alcohol level at the time of the collision.” He said Dugrenier was wearing dark clothing at the time of the accident, which occurred after dark in an area with no street lights. The roadway where the accident occurred is straight, level and paved and was dry at the time of the collision.

Guinard also wrote, “There is no evidence of drug or alcoholic beverage impairment on the part of Blais at the time of the collision. There is no evidence or statements made by Blais or the eye witness to indicate that speed was a factor in this collision. There is no evidence that Blais’s vehicle experienced mechanical failure or defects prior to or at the time of the collision.

Dugrenier was a longtime employee of S.R. Jones Excavation in Antrim, where he had worked for 15 years as an excavation operator. He had lived in Antrim for many years before moving recently to Peterborough, according to Susan Stalbird, who works at S.R. Jones.

Dugrenier’s older sister, Annette Carrier, remembered him in an interview shortly after the accident as “that little redheaded boy who used to come running home from school with all the girls chasing after him.”

Carrier, 58, learned of her brother’s death when her boyfriend called her at work.

Before heading in to work her second job — a night shift — she remembered reading a quick update on Facebook announcing that a pedestrian was hit and killed in Peterborough. Carrier said she casually remarked to her boyfriend about the increase in pedestrians being killed and then commented on the proximity to the accident and her brother’s home.

“I remember saying, ‘Not that it’s Michael.’”

And then it was.

“It doesn’t seem real even now, three to four days later,” she said. “The days are blending together.”

Carrier said Dugrenier used to walk down Route 202 frequently headed from his home to the store. “Life can be taken away at any moment — you just never know. Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Tell them you love them often,” said Carrier.

John Stalbird, who worked with Dugrenier for 15 years, described him as funny, laid back, outdoorsy and a good friend. Dugrenier was a hard worker who was “dedicated to his equipment,” Stalbird said. Running an excavator was Dugrenier’s passion, Stalbird added. Although construction sites are often dangerous, Stalbird said he always felt safe when Dugrenier was operating the machines. Stalbird fished with Dugrenier outside of work, and often — on hot summer days — enjoyed sharing a cold beer and shooting the breeze with him.

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