February 05. 2014 9:38PM

Bristol pair remain in critical condition after hitting backhoe

Union Leader Correspondent

The scene on Route 104 Monday of an accident that left two Bristol residents in critical condition. (COURTESY BRISTOL POLICE)
BRISTOL — Two Bristol residents remained in critical condition late Wednesday after a collision between their SUV and a state backhoe on Route 104 on Monday.

Both are expected to survive, and both are facing charges when they get well, police said. The driver faces a gun charge and potentially drugged-driving charges.
On Monday, police and fire crews responded to a report of a head-on collision in the area of the R.P. Williams lumberyard, said Lt. Kris Bean.

A 2004 Dodge Durango operated by Jason Brown, 29, of 140 School St., crossed the yellow line striking a state John Deere backhoe head-on.

Brown and his passenger, Cheryl Brown, 28, of the same address, were both taken by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Both were in critical condition, Bean said, and had been since they arrived Monday with injuries police would not specify.

The operator of the backhoe was released from the hospital with minor injuries.

An investigation was conducted into the accident, and “charges will be forthcoming for Jason Brown for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, as a habitual offender, and as a felon in possession of a firearm,” Bean said.

Police also found “evidence that Jason Brown may have been operating his motor vehicle under the influence of a drug or narcotic, but charges are pending until the investigation is completed,” Bean said.

Bean said police found evidence of drug use in the vehicle, but investigators are still waiting for results from blood tests to determine further charges.

“I can’t discuss what was found, but we found evidence after the accident that drug use was ongoing in the vehicle,” Bean said.

Meanwhile, charges will be brought forward on Cheryl Brown for false report to a law enforcement officer and criminal liability for conduct of another.

“She made several reports to police after the accident that were false,” Bean said, declining to elaborate.