Jaffrey police seek hit-and-run driver that struck wheelchair

  • Wallace "Wally" Wooster’s electric wheelchair is missing a leg support after it was torn off when his wheelchair was struck by a car while he was traveling on Squantum Road on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Wallace "Wally" Wooster holds the broken leg support that was torn from his wheelchair when it was struck by a car while he was traveling on Squantum Road on Sunday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/19/2019 4:54:17 PM

Police are seeking the driver of a vehicle who fled the scene after hitting a Jaffrey man’s electric wheelchair on Squantum Road Sunday.

At about 2:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Wallace “Wally” Wooster, 70, of Jaffrey was traveling on Squantum Road in his electric wheelchair when he was clipped by a male driver in a small, light blue car, Jaffrey police Detective Chris Anderson said Monday. The vehicle was turning from Hunt Road onto Squantum Road, which is a sharp turn, when the contact occurred.

Wooster said the driver appeared to be young, perhaps in his 20s, and clean-shaven with brownish hair.

“He never stopped for the stop sign, and ran right into me,” Wooster said in an interview Monday. “He knew he hit me. He took off. He spun around the corner and headed up Woodbound Road.”

Wooster was not injured or thrown from his chair, but the contact did break one of the chair’s leg supports.

“It was very close,” Anderson said. “It could have been worse, but it’s still unfortunate.”

Wooster said he often visits the area, as his daughter and grandchild live on the road, but has never had such a close call.

“He didn’t hurt me, thank God, just kind of shocked me and jolted me,” Wooster said.

Wooster said another vehicle came along shortly after, noticed he seemed to be in distress and stopped and called 911 for him.

“I just can’t believe he didn’t stop,” Wooster said. “It’s wrong for him to take off like that. I could have been bleeding. I’d like to see him face up to the fact that he hit me, and see if we can’t work out something agreeable.”

Wooster has muscular dystrophy and arthritis and has been reliant on a wheelchair since 1989. While his wheelchair is operational, Wooster said he doesn’t know how much damage was done to it aside from the leg support. Wooster expects the chair to be checked for damage later this week.

Wooster’s electric wheelchair is valued at about $15,000, and he said he doesn’t know how much a repair will cost, or if it will be covered by his insurance. Both he and his wife are disabled on a fixed income, he said.

“This is the only way I can get around and have a life,” Wooster said of his wheelchair.

Wooster said he does not have a car, and his wheelchair is his only mode of transport.

Police are seeking the driver, who could be charged with conduct after an accident. Failing to report an accident is usually a misdemeanor, unless the accident caused death or injury, or if a driver knowingly gives false information. Anyone with information about this crash is encouraged to contact the Jaffrey Police Department at 532-7865.

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


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