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Rindge woman released on $5,000 bail following fatal car crash in Jaffrey

JAFFREY — A Rindge woman charged in the fatal crash on Fitzwilliam Road that killed her boyfriend, Daniel Peard, on Jan. 5 has been released on bail, with help from a person close to Peard.

Nichole Oates, 34, of Rindge, who faces felony-level aggravated DWI and negligent homicide charges, was released from jail on $5,000 cash or surety bail on Jan. 7 and has since waived her right to a probable cause hearing at the 8th Circuit Court in Keene. April Seneschal of Jaffrey, the mother of Peard’s two young children, provided the $5,000 cash or surety required for Oates’ release earlier this month, according to court documents.

The case will now be bound-over to the Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene. A Grand Jury will determine whether or not there is enough evidence in the case to indict Oates on the charges.

Oates was arrested by Jaffrey Police on Jan. 5 after reportedly crashing a 2012 Ford F-150 Raptor in the area of 577 Fitzwilliam Road in Jaffrey. Oates’ passenger, Daniel Peard, 34, of Jaffrey, died as a result of extensive injuries sustained in the accident.

At Oates’ arraignment at the 8th Circuit Court in Keene on the morning of Jan. 7, Justice Edward J. Burke ordered that Oates’ bail be upheld at $5,000 cash or surety due to the serious nature of the charges. Later that day, at 4:25 p.m., Seneschal posted bail for Oates, according to court documents.

As a condition of Oates’ release, she is to reside at 114 Meadow View Rd. in Rindge. She is also to refrain from any use of alcohol, narcotic drugs or controlled substances.

Seneschal could not be reached for comment by press time Wednesday. Earlier this month, Seneschal told the Ledger-Transcript that Peard and Oates had been dating for about a year.

A probable cause hearing was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at the 8th Circuit Court in Keene, but was canceled after Oates waived her right to the hearing on Jan. 10.

Oates’ attorney, N.H. public defender Kimberly Kossick, could not be reached for comment by press time Wednesday.

In an affidavit prepared by Jaffrey police, Det. Joseph B. Hileman wrote that Oates told police she was traveling at about 35 to 40 miles per hour at the time of the Jan. 5 crash and that “... Danny had asked her to ‘drift’ (causing the vehicle to slide sideways, typically around corners).” Police asked her if this is what she was doing when she lost control and she said she does not remember because it all happened so fast,” Hileman wrote.

Oates was able to climb out of the vehicle and walk to a nearby house after the accident, police said. Peard was sitting in the front seat of the pickup at the time of the crash, according to Hileman, but police found Peard on the ground outside the vehicle, without a pulse when they arrived at the crash scene.

Peard graduated from Conant High School and was a lifelong Jaffrey resident. He was a diesel mechanic and maintained the fleet of trucks at his family’s two Jaffrey businesses, Red’s of Jaffrey on River Street and Monadnock Disposal Service on Old Sharon Road.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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