UPDATE: Greenville man dies in New Ipswich crash
Steve Coll, 37, of Greenville, was so proud of his Honda CVR 954 motorcycle that he would thoroughly polish it before taking it out for a ride. Coll died on Feb. 10 when his truck went off the road on Route 124 in New Ispwich and collided with a tree.
Steve Coll, 37, of Greenville, plays with his daughter, Shae-Lynn Coll, now 6, of Jaffrey. Coll died in a single-car crash on Route 124 in New Ipswich while driving home from a friend's house on Feb. 10.
GREENVILLE — Steven Coll, 37, of Greenville has been identified by family and friends as the motorist who lost his life in a crash on Feb. 10, when his truck went off the road and crashed into a tree on Route 124 in New Ipswich.
Coll had spent the evening visiting with Rob Russell at Russell’s Jaffrey home, and left after dinner at about 10:20 p.m. Coll’s white Chevy Silverado pick-up went off the road while he was driving home, and hit a tree, igniting a fire in the cab of his truck. A passing motorist saw the truck and contacted emergency services, just 10 minutes after Coll left Russell’s residence. Coll was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have not officially identified the person who died that night, but family and friends say it was Coll. Messages left at the New Ipswich Police Department and the N.H. Fire Marshal’s Office seeking confirmation of these reports were not returned by press time Monday. Last week, police attributed the cause of the crash to snow and ice left on the road following a significant snowstorm the previous day, as well as the vehicle’s speed.
Coll is an area native, having grown up in Jaffrey. He attended Conant High School and Monadnock High School, before moving to Greenville. Several members of Coll’s large immediate family still remain in the area, including brothers in Temple and Hancock, a daughter in Jaffrey and a fiance in Greenville.
Coll previously owned his own business, Steve Coll’s Flatwork in Antrim, but for the last several years had been a foreman at Quality Concrete and Construction in Rindge. His boss, Lars Sauvola, said of Coll on Monday, “He was a multi-task employee, and could do all aspects of our work. He will be missed by all of us and leave a big void in Quality Concrete.”
Coll’s mother, Angelique Coll of Gilford, said in an interview Monday that since he was young, Coll had been especially generous. Even as a child, he was willing to go out of his way to help her. She recalled that when he was a boy, she had worked in Jaffrey in a building that got very hot in the summer. Coll would ride his bike to Mr. Mike’s in Jaffrey to buy her an ice cream flurry, and then ride one-handed to her workplace to proudly present her with the treat.
“It was half-melted, and he’d be dripping with sweat and tired himself, but he would just hand it to me and say, ‘I knew you’d be hot.’ That’s the kind of kid he was, and that’s the kind of adult he was, too,” said Angelique.
Russell agreed that Coll was the kind of person that would go out of his way to help a stranger. Last year, when a freak blizzard hit the area in October, a friend called Coll asking for assistance when his car was stuck on a hill on Route 202. Coll arrived with chains and his truck and towed his friend up the hill. And then he went back down and helped every other person who had gotten themselves stuck in the same predicament, whether he knew them or not.
That was typical of his brother, said Keith Coll of Swanzy in an interview Monday. “No matter what your story was, he would say, ‘Come in, grab a beer, take a seat by the fire, you’re family.’ That’s how he ran his entire life,” Keith said. “He embraced whoever entered his life.”
Coll had several passions in life, one being his motorcycle, which he took particular pride in, Keith said.
Coll would spend as much as an hour polishing his Honda CVR 954 motorcycle before taking it out on the road, said his friend and riding buddy, Russell. He wouldn’t take it out on the road until every piece shone.
It was typical of Coll to give that attention to detail, said family members. There wasn’t any aspect of his life, even his hobbies, that he didn’t throw himself in to 110 percent, they said.
His motorcycle was so important to him that the family even included it in his memorial service, which took place at the Cournoyer Funeral Home in Jaffrey on Saturday.
“It fit in with his free spirit,” said Keith of Coll’s love of riding. More than two hundred family members and friends showed up at the ceremony to pay their respects, said Angelique.
When he wasn’t taking a ride on his bike, said Keith, he was nearly inseparable from his six-year-old daughter, Shae-Lynn Coll.
“He was a phenomenal father,” said Keith. “The past six years, almost every photo of him also includes his daughter. They were pretty much inseparable. She was the center of his universe.”
Angelique agreed, saying the day Shae-Lynn was born, she saw a depth of love in her son’s eyes the first time he held his daughter that she had never seen in him until then.
“The tears just flowed from his eyes,” she recalled. “It was just incredible. The bond was there instantaneously. He held her and the look on his face was something I hadn’t seen before.”
He also had a deep of love for his fiancee, Julie Doucette of Greenville, whom he was newly engaged to marry, Angelique said. “She was the love of his life,” said Angelique. “He told me she was his soulmate, and he’d never said that to me about anyone before.”
Keith said Coll will be missed. “He was the glue of our family,” he said. “He was just a really special guy. Even if you only met him once, you remembered who Steven Coll was, and that’s important to his family. His parents, sibling and daughter loved him to the utmost and will miss him greatly. But we know part of him will live on in Shae. You can hear his infectious laugh and see him in her eyes. You can really see him in his daughter Shae, and that’s how we’ll remember him.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Steven’s name to a scholarship fund for his daughter. Donations may be made payable to the Shae-Lynn Coll Fund, c/o Corey Coll at TD Bank in Keene. For information about an annual motorcycle memorial ride in Coll’s memory, contact Angelique at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or email@example.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.