Driver who died in Hooksett toll crash was Stoddard man, 51By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader
April 18. 2018 9:37AM
HOOKSETT — Authorities have ruled out drugs, alcohol and medical issues as factors in the crash that killed a 51-year-old man whose SUV slammed into the rear of a tractor-trailer rig on Interstate 93 two weeks ago.
State police identified the driver as Michael Burrows. His legal address is Greenfield, but he was living in Stoddard at the time of the accident, said Trooper Travis Merritt, the investigator in the crash.
The accident took place shortly before 3 p.m. on April 6 on a stretch of I-93 southbound between the Hooksett tolls and the I-93/I-293 split.
The state medical examiner confirmed to state police last week that Burrows was the driver, allowing for a public release of his identity, state police said.
Merritt said toxicology tests have ruled out drugs or alcohol, and Burrows suffered from no medical issues that would cause his SUV to drift into the breakdown lane, where the tractor-trailer was parked.
He said Burrows’ mobile phone was shattered in the crash, so investigators cannot determine if he had been distracted by the device.
“That’s still a possibility. I can’t rule it out,” Merritt said.
Merritt said there was no signs that Burrows ever hit the brakes. That makes it difficult to determine the speed of the vehicle. Without skid marks, crash scene investigators lose a valuable tool to measure pre-crash speeds. Merritt said witnesses provided conflicting accounts of estimated speeds.
Merritt said he still needs to talk to a few people who saw Burrows the day of the crash.
He has spoken to Burrows’ ex-wife, who lived with him in Stoddard. She told police he had left the house to run some errands. Earlier that day, Burrows had sold the vehicle — a 1995 Chevrolet Tahoe — to another person, but was still driving it.
The new owner’s temporary paper tags were on the vehicle at the time, and likely fell off because of the bad weather, Merritt said.
Merritt said Burrows went through the right toll lanes, where a driver usually pays with cash, and not the high-speed toll lanes.
The tractor-trailer was registered in Missouri and driven by Abbas Al-Ramahi, 55, of Independence, Mo. Al-Ramahi was uninjured in the crash.