Distracted driver goes into river

Operator, passengers uninjured, following vehicle’s plunge in the Contoocook

JAFFREY — A car crash in Jaffrey Sunday resulted in a vehicle plunging into the Contoocook River and its occupants scrambling to safety.

At approximately 4 p.m. Sunday a BMW Wagon, driven by Aaron Layfield, 20, of Jaffrey, was northbound on Route 202 in Jaffrey in front of DD Bean when the driver lost control of the vehicle, which careened off of the road and about 30 feet down an embankment and into the shallow river.

Jaffrey Fire-Rescue and Jaffrey Police responded to the scene, where they determined there were no injuries sustained by Layfield or his two passengers, Alexander Corliss, 19, of Jaffrey, and Carlos Canahuati, 18, of Jaffrey. The driver and passengers would not comment.

While a crew from J&J Auto Body and the fire department worked to remove the wreckage from the river traffic had to be diverted through the DD Bean parking lot and entrance. Eventually, a crane was brought in to lift the car from the frigid waters below.

According to Jaffrey Police Lieutenant Terry Choate, the first responder to the scene, Layfield was distracted while attempting to work his sun roof and veered off the road near a bend in the road where there is a guardrail. Because of heavy snowfall in recent weeks, the guardrail was covered in a snow pile, which allowed the vehicle to travel over the top and down the embankment.

When the vehicle landed in the river the front end was facing the opposite direction, which led Choate to believe that the vehicle may have hit a tree or spun off of an embankment before landing in the river.

“Based on the crash and what they sustained for injuries, they were pretty lucky,” said Choate.

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