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Route 101 in Peterborough

4 hurt in fiery crash

Officer among those in collision that sends motorcyclist to Dartmouth-Hitchcock

  • A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 101 and Union Street in Peterborough sent multiple people to the hospital.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 101 and Union Street in Peterborough sent multiple people to the hospital.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 101 and Union Street in Peterborough sent multiple people to the hospital.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 101 and Union Street in Peterborough sent multiple people to the hospital.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 101 and Union Street in Peterborough sent multiple people to the hospital.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 101 and Union Street in Peterborough sent multiple people to the hospital.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 101 and Union Street in Peterborough sent multiple people to the hospital.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 101 and Union Street in Peterborough sent multiple people to the hospital.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • A multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 101 and Union Street in Peterborough sent multiple people to the hospital.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

PETERBOROUGH — Two drivers and a passenger were transported to Monadnock Community Hospital, and a motorcycle rider was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, after a three-vehicle crash on Route 101 at Union Street on Sunday afternoon.

Shortly after 4 p.m., a silver Dodge 1500 pickup driven by a Peterborough police officer was traveling east on Route 101 when it rear-ended a red Dodge 2500 pickup, according to State Police. The red Dodge was pushed into a 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle that was in the intersection.

The silver Dodge was driven by George Xenakis, 24 of Jaffrey. He was transported to Monadnock Community Hospital. It is unclear what his current condition is. The red Dodge was driven by Jacob Ruoff, 20, of Antrim. He and his passenger, Mary Ruoff, 54, were also transported to MCH, where they were treated and released.

The driver of the motorcycle, Anthony Gravallese, 22, of Reading, Mass., was transported by ambulance to a field, known as “the engine field,” on Route 101 across from Old Peterborough Road to be airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. Messages left for Dartmouth-Hitchcock representatives seeking information about Gravallese’s current condition were not returned by press time Wednesday.

Xanakis is a Peterborough police officer, according to Peterborough Police Chief Scott Guinard. Because of the officer’s involvement, Guinard asked State Police to take the lead in the investigation, to avoid any perceived conflict of interest in the case, Guinard said in an interview Monday.

According to his profile on the Peterborough Police Department webpage, Xenakis has worked for Peterborough Police since January 2013. Prior to that he worked for the Hancock Police Department full-time from June 2012 until January 2013, and part-time from November 2010 to June of 2012.

Lou Eastman of Peterborough was driving on Route 101 on Sunday and was one of the first witnesses to come upon the accident scene, he said in a phone interview Monday. From his car, he could see the two trucks. The red Dodge was stopped near the guardrail of Union Street, and the silver dodge was smoking, and soon burst into flames, Eastman said. He saw a man, the motorcycle driver, lying on his back in the roadway of Union Street, with what appeared to be serious injuries, he said. Another driver who came upon the scene before Eastman exited his vehicle to assist the injured, Eastman said.

The driver of the red truck, Jacob Ruoff, was able to get out of his vehicle under his own power, although he had to climb out of the window because the door to his truck wouldn’t open, Eastman said. He did not see either the driver of the silver truck nor Ruoff’s passenger exit their vehicles.

Eastman dialed 911, and waited for emergency personnel to arrive, before leaving the scene, he said.

Trooper Kelly Healey of N.H. State Police said in an interview Monday that she could not comment on whether or not charges will be brought in this case. She also declined to comment on whether alcohol, drugs or speed were factors in the accident.

“I can’t speak to that,” she said. “We are still actively investigating the accident.”

N.H. State Police Troop B and Troop C were assisted at the scene by Jaffrey and Peterborough Fire and Emergency Medical services Departments, the Dublin Fire Department, the Peterborough Police Department and the N.H. State Police Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team.

Route 101 was closed following the accident. Vehicles traveling west on Route 101 were being turned back at the rotary and those heading toward Route 101 on Union Street were diverted to Old Dublin Road.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or can provide information about the accident is asked to contact State Police Troop B at 672-3333.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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