Keene State College freshman seriously injured in Dublin crash is now in stable condition

  • The male driver of a Jeep was transported to the hospital with critical injuries after a three-car crash in Dublin. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • The male driver of a Jeep was transported to the hospital with critical injuries after a three-car crash in Dublin. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • The driver of this Jeep was transported to the hospital with critical injuries after a three-car crash in Dublin Tuesday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • The male driver of a Jeep was transported to the hospital with critical injuries after a three-car crash in Dublin. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • A fiery crash in Dublin on Route 101 Tuesday morning. Photo by Bank Promploy—

  • Sam Lachance, 18, of Manchester, was seriously injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer in Dublin on Tuesday morning. Photo courtesy of Jessica Lachance

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/22/2019 12:51:26 PM

Editor’s note: This story was last updated at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019.

A Manchester man, who is a freshman at Keene State College, was hospitalized in critical condition after a fiery crash involving a tractor-trailer on Route 101 in Dublin Tuesday morning. As of Wednesday, he was listed in stable condition.

Samuel Lachance, 18, of Manchester, was traveling west on Route 101 in a Jeep Wrangler when the Jeep crossed the center line into the eastbound
lane where it struck an eastbound Mack truck, driven by Jean Morency, 66, of Nashua, head-on, Dublin Police Chief Tim Suokko said in a press release issued Tuesday.

Morency had swerved to avoid the Jeep but was unable to avoid the crash, Dublin Fire Chief Tom Vanderbilt said on scene Tuesday morning.

“The impact caused the truck’s fuel tank to rupture causing a large fire,” Suokko said in the release.

Dublin police responded to the report of a two-vehicle crash on Route 101/Main Street in the area of Camp Rockne Road around 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday. When police arrived they found a third vehicle, a Toyota Sienna, driven by Marc Cramer, 47 of Peterborough, was also involved, Suokko said.

The cab of the tractor-trailer was fully involved when fire crews arrived, Vanderbilt said.

“We were able to knock the fire down and contain it pretty quickly,” Vanderbilt said.

Vanderbilt said he put out a call for a first-alarm, due to the need for manpower on the scene and because the scene was cut in half by the tractor-trailer, which was blocking the road and preventing emergency vehicles access to the scene from the opposite side. Crews from Marlborough and Harrisville, Peterborough and New Hampshire State Police assisted at the scene.

Lachance had critical injuries and was taken to Cheshire Medical Center in Keene. From there he was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Suokko said. Suokko later confirmed that as of Wednesday morning, Lachance had been stabilized in the Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Morency was taken to Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough with minor injuries, Suokko said. Cramer, along with his son, John Cramer, 18, of Peterborough, who was a passenger, were also taken to Monadnock Community Hospital with minor injuries.

On scene Tuesday morning, Vanderbilt said the tractor-trailer unit’s fuel tanks had been compromised, and fire crews were still in the midst of clean up of the spill. He said he didn’t know exactly how much fuel had spilled, but the tank had about 150 gallons when the crash occurred.

“Some burned, some spilled, and some is still in the tank,” he said.

Vanderbilt said private contractors and representatives from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services as well as Safe Harbors were on scene to assist with the clean-up.

Keene State College Director of Communications Kelly Ricaurte confirmed Wednesday morning that Lachance is currently enrolled as a freshman at the college.

Lachance’s mother, Jessica Mathieu Lachance, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that Lachance had mostly second-degree burns, had surgery to remove his spleen and had burned his airway and eyes. Wednesday morning she wrote he was still on a ventilator and was being monitored for brain swelling, but was able to respond to commands. He also has a fracture in his foot and a third-degree burn on his hand.

“They are keeping him comfortable and well loved. Continue the positive vibes...they are working,” she wrote in her most recent post updating his condition.

“We are all fighting with him. It will be a slow journey,” she wrote in a message to the Ledger-Transcript on Wednesday.

Lachance had been pulled from the fiery Jeep by crash witnesses, including Bank Promploy of Keene. In an interview Tuesday, Promploy said he was driving from Keene to his restaurant in Peterborough, The Thai Cafe, when the tractor-trailer unit in front of him exploded into “a big fireball.”

“It was like a movie,” Promploy said. “All I saw was a big ball of fire. I thought the engine had blown up or something. Then I saw a van drive through the fire, and I knew it was something else.”

Promploy said the Jeep had been attempting to pass the Toyota Sienna, both of which were in the westbound lane, and wasn’t able to make it back in its lane in time.

Promploy called 911 and then exited his car to check on the drivers of the Jeep and Toyota. He first checked on the Cramers in the Toyota Sienna, who told him they were OK, and then all three of them ran to the Jeep, the front of which had caught fire.

“The guy in the Jeep was in bad shape,” Promploy said. “It was a pretty gruesome scene.”

Promploy said Lachance was in and out of consciousness. Because the Jeep was on fire, and because the Jeep was so close to the Mack truck, which was also on fire, Promploy and Marc and John Cramer pulled him out and away from the Jeep.

“It seemed like the right thing to do. It was just one of these things you jump in on, and you don’t really have time to think,” Promploy said.

Promploy said the fire on the Mack truck cab was too big at that point to try to help Morency but said he later learned the Mack truck driver had gotten out by himself, on the other side of the cab.

Lachance’s mother, had a message for the men who pulled her son from the crash, posted on Tuesday, “To the strangers who pulled him out of the fire I have no words for how grateful I am. You saved his life. He is a strong kid, and he is a fighter.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twit ter @AshleySaariMLT.




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