Windham teen driver accused of deliberately hitting motorcyclist
PELHAM - 'I wasn't going to let him pass me.'
That's what police say a Windham teen told officers at the scene of a motor vehicle crash in Pelham early Friday morning, where the 18-year-old is said to have intentionally crashed his car into a motorcyclist, causing serious injuries.
Cody Eller of 123 Lowell Road in Windham was arraigned in Derry District Court Friday morning on a felony charge of second-degree assault and a misdemeanor charge of vehicular assault.
Police said Eller was driving south on Windham Road in Pelham around 4:30 a.m. Friday when he noticed a motorcyclist trying to pass him on the left, according to a police affidavit filed at Salem District Court.
William Hawksley, 45, of Brentwood, was identified by police as the driver of the Kawasaki ZX1400 motorcycle. Both were nearing the intersection of Tallant Road, according to the affidavit.
As Hawksley attempted to pass Eller's Ford Fusion, Eller allegedly crossed into the northbound lane, nearly forcing the motorcycle off the road, said Pelham police prosecutor Dennis Mannion Friday morning.
Eller's car then allegedly struck Hawksley on the right side, fracturing Hawksley's leg in several places, said Mannion. Hawksley was taken to Parkland Medical Center in Derry where he awaited surgery Friday, he said.
Mannion said Eller told an officer at the scene that he intentionally steered his car toward Hawksley to prevent him from passing.
'Yes, he was passing me illegally,' Eller said, according to the affidavit.
Pelham police Lt. Gary Fisher said Friday that investigators believe Hawksley was in a legal passing zone at the time of the crash.
Mannion called the incident an extreme case of road rage.
'Obviously, that are acts of road rage from time to time, but this is the most serious I've seen in my career,' said Mannion. He has been in law enforcement for 16 years.
Mannion asked a Derry District Court judge Friday morning to set Eller's bail at $5,000 cash, which was upheld.
Before Friday, Mannion said Eller had no criminal record and only a single speeding ticket from 2010.
'We felt that the incident that took place this morning was serious enough that if he was released he would be a danger to public safety,' said Mannion.
Judge Kristin Spath chose not to grant Mannion's request that the teen be barred from driving if released on bail.
'I'm hesitant at this point to adopt the state's recommendation with respect to your not driving,' Spath told Eller during his arraignment. 'Mostly, it's in the hopes that you can be out looking for a job.'
Eller told the court he had recently lost his job and that he had been looking for work but had no luck.
If Eller makes bail and commits another driving violation, Spath said his bail could be revoked.
He is scheduled to appear in Salem District Court for a probable cause hearing May 23.