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Pedestrian hit on Main Street

The Volkswagen Jetta, left, had stopped at the crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross Main Street, when it was struck from behind by the Nissan Titan pickup. The impact pushed the car forward and through the crosswalk where it struck Rosalie Leonard. The impact also crushed the back of the Jetta and smashed out the rear window. (Photo by Eileen Alexander) (click for larger version)
August 26, 2009
LANCASTER — Onlookers rushed to the aid of a pedestrian on Main Street after she was injured in a chain-reaction accident involving two vehicles just before noon last Thursday.

Rosalie Leonard, 71, of Lancaster, was in the crosswalk in front of the Marshall Insurance Agency when a Volkswagen Jetta driven by Ian Kimball, 22, of Candia stopped to allow her to cross. Mr. Kimball's vehicle was then struck from behind by a Nissan Titan pickup truck driven by Stockton Hicks, 16, of Whitefield. The impact crushed the rear of the Jetta, completely smashing out the rear window and pushing the small car through the crosswalk and taking Ms. Leonard with it as it was propelled forward. Witnesses told police the elderly woman first struck the hood of the car before she was thrown to the roadway.

Passersby and business owners rushed to the aid of Mrs. Leonard as she lay on the street waiting for police and ambulance personnel to arrive. One shopkeeper held an umbrella to shield the injured woman from the midday sun, while another rendered first aid to staunch the flow of blood from a head wound.

State Rep. Evalyn Merrick of Lancaster, a former EMT, was one of those bystanders who happened to be in a position to help Mrs. Leonard that day. Mrs. Merrick, who has worked as a ski patrol and in an emergency room setting, but had not worked as an EMT for about 10 years, said she heard a screech and turned from visiting with friends on the sidewalk in front of White Mountain Karate in time to witness the impact of the vehicles and pedestrian. "It was all very instantaneous," she said.

Mrs. Merrick immediately ran to Mrs. Leonard who was conscious and sitting up after being struck, but bleeding from her head. "It was just one of those things where you just immediately reacted," she explained. Other bystanders were also quick to render aid, fetching materials Mrs. Merrick called for, like clean fabric to apply to the head wound, she said. Soon after, another EMT, known to Mrs. Merrick only as "John," also stopped to render aid carrying a "jump kit" with first aid supplies.

Mrs. Leonard suffered multiple fractures, including her shoulder, leg, and wrist and was transported to Weeks Medical Center by Lancaster Ambulance. She was later transferred to Concord Hospital where she underwent surgery on Monday. Mr. Hicks was also transported by ambulance for evaluation and later released to his parents.

Lancaster Police Chief John Gardiner said statements from witnesses indicated that the operator of the truck failed to apply his brakes before hitting the VW Jetta. Mr. Hicks was cited for three traffic violations as a result of the accident — youth license, for having two unrelated passengers in the vehicle; following too closely; and child restraints, for having two persons under the age of 18 (including himself) not seatbelted.

Thursday's accident was the second for Mr. Hicks in a week. He was also involved in an accident in Whitefield the previous weekend. On Saturday, Aug. 15 at around 12:30 p.m., he was traveling north on Old East Road in a 1994 Toyota, when a vehicle driven by Tonya Enman, 16, of Whitefield, turned in front of him and the two collided. Ms. Enman had been traveling south on Old East Road in a 1991 BMW and was attempting to turn onto Nutting Road when she crossed into the northbound lane. The impact caused major damage to both vehicles. No injuries were reported.

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