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Belmont man was drunk when he caused Gilford crash that claimed Mass. woman's life, police allege

Union Leader Correspondent

August 29. 2018 1:50PM
A front seat passenger in this silver 2004 Nissan Murano suffered fatal injuries when it was struck nearly head-on by pickup truck being driver by Richard J. Conrod, 47, of Belmont, who has been charged with negligent homicide DWI. (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)


GILFORD – A 47-year-old Lakes Region man has been charged with negligent homicide DWI in connection with a fatal crash on Route 11 late Tuesday afternoon.

Richard J. Conrod of Belmont was arrested following the near-head on crash that killed Tiana Lozzi, 20, of Lynn, Mass., a front seat passenger in the 2004 Nissan Murano that Conrod crashed into in a green 2002 Toyota Tundra.

Conrod, who was alone in the truck, was released on $25,000 personal recognizance bond and is scheduled to appear in Belknap County Superior Court on Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m. He suffered minor injuries and was treated at Lakes Region General Hospital and released, police said.

At 4 p.m., Gilford police received a report of a pickup matching the description and license plate of Conrod’s heading west towards Laconia being driven erratically on Route 11. Officers already on routine patrol were on their way to investigate when at 4:06 p.m. multiple phone calls reported a serious high-speed crash in front of Lakeshore Park.

“This is another horrible tragedy and we are doing everything we can to investigate it and come to a final resolution,” said Gilford Deputy Police Chief Kris Kelley.

The charge is a Class A felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, a $4,000 fine and lifetime license revocation.

The crash happened at a sharp S-turn on an uphill grade just east of Ellacoya State Park. Police closed the highway at Cumberland Road at 4:18 p.m., rerouting traffic.

The Belknap Regional Accident Investigation Team headed by Laconia Police Chief Matt Canfield was called to the scene and worked through the night reconstructing the crash. The wrecked vehicles were loaded onto ramp trucks at 9:24 p.m. and removed under police escort to the Gilford police station, where they remain impounded as evidence.

John Bonilla, 20, of Lynn, Mass., who was driving the silver Nissan, was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. An adult rear seat passenger was identified by police as Andra Mendoza, 45, whose place of residence was unavailable Wednesday. Mendoza also was taken by DHART helicopter to Lebanon for treatment. Two children, a boy age 1 and a 3-year-old, also were passengers in the SUV but were secured in safety seats and not seriously hurt.

Before the crash, a woman related to the occupants of the Nissan, was following behind in a silver Honda Element. After the crash, she pulled over to help and got out of her vehicle without putting it in park. The SUV with two boys inside rolled down a hill and came to rest with its back bumper against a wooden fence. The passengers appeared uninjured but were taken to the hospital as a precaution, according to police.

The highway was reopened at 9:24 p.m.

Courts Crime Public Safety Gilford

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