Driver arrested for manslaughter, negligent homicide in Laconia fatal crash
By PAT GROSSMITH New Hampshire Union Leader
LACONIA – A woman is under arrest, charged with negligent homicide and manslaughter in connection with a crash last April that killed a 14-year-old school girl and seriously injured a second student, both standing on a sidewalk at a crosswalk.
Amy C. Lafond, 52, of Laconia, turned herself in to police Wednesday.
The April 19 crash happened about 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Messer and Opechee streets and at a time when students were leaving the nearby Laconia Middle School.
Lilyanna "Lily" Johnson, 14, died from her injuries after being airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. Alyssa Miner, also 14, was seriously injured but recovered. Both attended the middle school.
Capt. Matt Canfield said the parents of both children were satisfied with the charges brought in the case.
Lafond was arraigned in 4th Circuit Court, Laconia District Division, on the negligent homicide and manslaughter charges as well as charges of second-degree assault; possession of oxycodone; possession of the prescription drug Gabapentin, used to treat epilepsy and sometimes for pain; speeding; crossing a yellow line, and failing to stop for a person in a crosswalk, although Canfield said the teens were standing on the sidewalk at the crosswalk and had not yet entered it when they were hit.
The manslaughter charges accuse Lafond of recklessly causing Johnson's death by driving while distracted, speeding and after consuming drugs.
The negligent homicide charge alternately alleges Lafond negligently caused Johnson's death by failing to maintain a proper lookout.
A police affidavit, filed in support of the arrest warrant and detailing what happened, was sealed by the court, Canfield said.
Police said the two girls were hit by Lafond's Jeep that "suddenly veered" around another car stopped at the Messer Street crosswalk.
Capt. Matthew Canfield said the driver of the first car thought some students were about to cross the street and stopped at the crosswalk at the Opechee Street intersection.
The Jeep came up behind the stopped car and veered around it on the left, crossing over the southbound lane and hitting the two girls, Canfield said. It then hit a guardrail, veered back over the two lanes and landed on the curb on the northbound side of the road.
The tragedy prompted the Laconia City Council to approve installation of flashing lights at that intersection, warning drivers of the school zone.
Lafond is being held in the Belknap County jail on $30,000 cash bail and $5,000 personal recognizance bail. A probable cause hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 3.
Previous story follows:
LACONIA – A woman is under arrest, charged with negligent homicide and manslaughter in connection with a crash last April that killed a 14-year-old school girl.
Amy C. Lafond, 52, turned herself in to police just before 8 a.m. Wednesday on an arrest warrant stemming from the April 19 fatal motor vehicle collision.
The 2:30 p.m. crash occurred at the intersection of Messer and Opechee streets at the time of dismissal at the nearby Laconia Middle School.
Lilyanna Johnson, 14, died from injuries she suffered in the crash, while 14-year-old Alyssa Miner also was seriously injured.
Police said they arrested Lafond after a very lengthy and exhaustive investigation.
She is also charged with second-degree assault and other offenses.
Police are holding a news conference this morning at 11 a.m. to provide other details.