UPDATE: Sunapee driver charged in Vermont couple's deaths
Robert Dellinger, 53, of 28 Birchpoint Lane, Sunapee, will be arraigned Wednesday in 2nd Circuit Court, Lebanon District Division, on charges of recklessly causing the deaths of Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons. The couple were engaged, and Murphy, 24, was eight months pregnant with their child.
Amanda Murphy, 24, was eight months pregnant and engaged to Jason Timmons, 29. All three died when their SUV was struck by a pickup truck that crossed the median of Interstate 89.
"Last Wednesday she was here having a baby shower, glowing. So it's shocking. We're still in shock," Amarante said. "We deal with death in elders, and that's hard in and of itself, but this is totally different."
• The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has been brought in to oversee the investigation. Homicide prosecutor Susan Morrell said her office's involvement will determine whether any criminal charges are leveled in the crash.
Morrell said part of the investigation will concentrate on what caused Dellinger's southbound 2005 Chevrolet pickup to cross the median just north of Exit 18.
The victims lived in Wilder, a village of Hartford, which is just north of Lebanon across the Connecticut River.
They were excited and ready to be parents, Amarante said. This was Murphy's first child; Timmons was already a father to a young boy, Amarante said.
Amarante said Murphy was trustworthy, intuitive, and worked well with dementia patients. Timmons did not have much experience, but caught on quickly.
Transportation officials said the area of I-89 where the accident occurred is slated for a barrier to prevent vehicles from crossing the highway median and colliding with vehicles traveling in the opposite direction.
According to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, the median at the site is about 110 feet in width. The median has a slight incline from the southbound to northbound lanes.
This year, the DOT installed eight miles of median guardrails in the Bow-Hopkinton area, Boynton said. Median barriers have also been placed at Exit 20 and between exits 15 and 17 in Enfield and Lebanon.
In its 2009 Lamy decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that an unborn child must show spontaneous signs of life for someone to be prosecuted for homicide in the child's death.