Wednesday May 8, 2013

HINSDALE, N.H. -- While state officials have been able to confirm that the two Hinsdale residents who died in an explosive crash in Keene last week died as a result of injuries sustained in the head-on collision, investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the incident.

Police confirmed Monday that the Douglas M. Farr Jr. killed in a collision with a fuel tanker truck on Route 12 Friday was the same man injured in a fatal shooting incident in Chesterfield last year.

Farr, 32, and Erin Breault, 35, were traveling south in a 2011 Hyundai at about 10:30 a.m. when the vehicle crossed the center line and crashed into the truck near the Route 9 East ramp. The collision caused a massive explosion and black smoke could be seen billowing in the air. Farr was identified as the driver of the Hyundai.

Authorities have still not revealed the details of the shooting in Chesterfield that killed Mark T. McAuley, 39, and injured Farr on April 14, 2012. No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Peter R. Hinckley, who is overseeing the case, told the Reformer the investigation is still active.

"It’s a little too early to address what, if any, impact the death of Douglas Farr in Friday’s accident will have on this case," he said Monday.


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Asked if the delay in this investigation was typical, or a reflection of a high caseload around the state, Hinckley said, "The time it takes to issue a report has to do with what information develops in each investigation. This has nothing to do with caseload at the state level."

He said every investigation is different.

The incident took place along a dirt road on a piece of private property near the intersection of North Hinsdale Road, Gulf Road and Plain Road.

Chesterfield Police Chief Lester Fairbanks said his department has been periodically keeping in touch with state investigators. He said Det. David Eldridge was a very active liaison to the case until he took a job with the Hinsdale Police Department.

According to Dr. Thomas Andrew, the state’s medical examiner, Farr and Breault died Friday of blunt force trauma as a result of the head-on collision.

Keene Police Sgt. Jason Short said it is unknown at this time if alcohol or any other substance was a factor in the crash and the department is waiting for a toxicology report from the medical examiner.

"We’re looking into it but we may just never know."

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Jeffrey J. Cloran, 54, of Becket, Mass., was treated and released from Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.