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Beloved KHS sports bus driver perishes in motorcycle crash

OSSIPEE AND STATE POLICE respond to Saturday’s fatal accident in Ossipee on Route 16 near the intersection with Route 25 East. Motorcyclist Thomas Beesley was killed and the sedan’s driver, Lillian Perry, was uninjured. MELLISA FERLAND — CONTRIBUTOR. (click for larger version)
September 16, 2010
OSSIPEE — Kingswood Regional High School is mourning the loss of a beloved bus driver who perished while off duty on Saturday when his motorcycle collided with a sedan near the intersection of Route 16 and Route 25 East.

Thomas "Terry" Beesley Sr., 66, of Ossipee, was pronounced dead at the scene. The sedan's driver, Lillian Perry, 41, of Newburyport, Mass., was treated at the scene and released without injury.

For the last eight years, Beesley worked as a bus driver who drove Kingswood's student athletes to their away games. Kingswood Principal Guy Donnelly said Monday was a sad day for many at the high school. Beesley was an enthusiastic supporter of student athletes. He'd even go to their games to cheer when he wasn't driving the bus. Sports players would reciprocate by inviting him to their award banquets.

"The kids loved him, he was a fun guy to be around," said Donnelly. "The kids made him part of their teams."

His supervisor, Maryann Belanger, shared that sentiment.

Kingswood volleyball teams dedicated their games on Monday night to his memory. Kingswood was taking on Oyster River High School from Durham.

Close friend Bob Abraham, of Tamworth, described Beesley as a safe motorcyclist with a fun personality and a generous spirit. For the last two years, Abraham joined Beesley and a few other friends for road trips throughout New Hampshire and Maine.

"We'd never had a destination, we'd just go ride for the day," said Abraham. "He was very experienced. I've ridden side by side with him for many miles and never had a fear."

Beesley was known for his appetite. His motorcycle group joked that he was President of the "Restaurant Riders," said Abraham. During his travels Beesley never liked to see anyone go hungry. At Bike Week in Laconia, Beesley noticed a small group of scraggly looking teens hanging out with a puppy. Beesley thought the dog could use some food, so he went over and brought it a sausage. The teens, took some bites before giving it to the dog. It broke Beesley's heart to see the teens so hungry, so he also gave them some money for food.

"He didn't hesitate to help," said Abraham.

Beesley was also known for generosity with the student athletes. On long trips he was known buy them dinner at McDonalds, said Abraham.

Prior to becoming a sports bus driver, Beesley retired from a job as a rigger at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. After retiring, he and his wife of 32 years, Galyn (Gamester) Beesley, moved to the shores of Ossipee Lake. He's survived by his wife, his children, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, his sisters, and his nieces and nephews.

Abraham said Beesley leaves behind a close-knit group of family and friends who will support each other in this time of sorrow.

"When the chips are down we're always there for each other," said Abraham.

State Police Troop E's preliminary investigation indicates that Perry's 2004 Chrysler Sebring sedan was traveling northbound on Route 16 approaching Route 25 East while Beesley was riding behind her on his 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle.

She slowed and attempted to change direction by making a left turn. Beesley tried to avoid the Sebring by driving to the left around it, but his motorcycle struck the driver's side of the car. As a result, Beesley was thrown from his motorcycle and sustained fatal injuries. The accident occurred at around 10:55 a.m.

Members of the New Hampshire State Police Technical Accident Reconstruction Team are investigating this collision and are being assisted by the Ossipee Police Department and the Carroll County Sheriffs Department. Also responding were Center Ossipee Fire and Rescue and Life Star Ambulance Service.

Anyone who witnessed this collision or has any further information is asked to call Trooper Ricardo Brazee at 323-3333.

Martin Lord Osman
Brewster Academy
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