Former Groveton student dies in Route 3 crash


June 18, 2011
GROVETON — The students and faculty of Groveton High School were wearing purple as a sign of mourning Thursday when the news broke that former Eagle Danny Ward of Columbia had died in a car crash in North Stratford the day before.

"Danny was the type of kid that had an infectious smile and everybody liked," said Groveton Principal Pierre Couture.

The crash was reported at 1:13 p.m. Wednesday by a 9-1-1 caller and Ward was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel. Although the cause of the accident is still under investigation by N.H. State Trooper Christopher Ladd of Troop F in Twin Mountain, excessive speed over the 50 mph limit is believed to have played a major role.

The Groveton high school and elementary offered counseling to any students or faculty affected by the accident as well as assistance from White Mountain Mental Health Services in Littleton. Couture noted that, as of Thursday evening, no such services had been utilized and teachers were told to be on the look out for students behaving differently.

"When you have a school this small the kids are very close to one another," said Couture.

The State Police reported that the yellow 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt was traveling Northbound on Route 3 when it failed to negotiate a turn and rolled over several times throwing Ward from the vehicle. Initial information said Troop F Commander Lt. Todd Landry indicates that Ward was not wearing his seat belt during the crash.

"Over the course of several years there have been a significant number of crashes on that stretch between Groveton and Colebrook," said Landry. Traffic was closed for three hours causing traffic to divert through Bloomfield, Vt.

Regarded as a very likable and intelligent 18-year-old Ward would have been scheduled to be in this year's graduating class had he not finished high school early in 2010. He had recently met with an army recruiter and was planning on pursuing a career in the service and then attend college.

Although there were reservations about whether or not the school should still hold a pep rally Thursday for the Groveton softball team, who were in the playoffs, the school did. Couture said that in such a situation it is better to try to keep business as usual.

One of Ward's many talents was his proficiency with instruments being able to play the tuba, trombone and baritone horns.

"He was talented," said Groveton high school music teacher Andrew Tobin, "a very bright kid and a fantastic musician."

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