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Manchester Central educator dies from injuries in Bedford bicycle crash

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 06. 2018 9:37PM




Diane Antoscia (Courtesy)

A Manchester High School Central counselor whose job involved using healthy lifestyles to discourage drug use died Sunday night from injuries she received while bicycling two weeks ago in Bedford, according to friends and co-workers.

Diane Antoscia, 58, died at the Community Hospice in Merrimack on Sunday night, according to Central High School English teacher Sean Russell, who said he received word from the school about her death on Monday.

It’s still uncertain what happened to the athletic mother of two grown children. Antoscia was found badly injured near 36 Birkdale Road, a quiet residential street in the northern part of Bedford, on 8:45 a.m. July 22, a Sunday. She was within a few miles of her home when found, according to police.

Bedford police never said a motor vehicle was involved, and photos that police released of Antoscia’s bicycle helmet and gray Trek hybrid bicycle show no signs of damage.

On Monday, Bedford Police spokesman John Guilfoil said the investigation continues but would not say whether police were ever able to speak to Antoscia. Police said several residents sent in video footage from the morning of the accident after police made a request for anyone who may have seen her.

For the past 15 years, Antoscia was the school’s student assistance program counselor, a job that entailed helping students experiencing family, personal or drug problems.

Antoscia found counseling resources for students with drug issues, said Central High School principal John Vaccarezza. She brought in guest speakers. And she was the adviser for Life of an Athlete, which encourages healthy lifestyle choices. Although initially formed for athletes, Antoscia opened the program to anyone, Vaccarezza said.

Central students involved in the program visited middle schools to discourage drug use, Vaccarezza said.

“She didn’t see her job as a Central thing; this was her life’s work,” Vaccarezza said. “She was there to help. She would give straightforward, honest advice.”

She also spearheaded an effort earlier this year to auction Central athletic banners to raise money for replacements and cleaning the gymnasium.

Russell said Antoscia would try to make contact with ninth- and 10th-grade students and let them know her services were available. Russell said some students would turn around after he referred them to Antoscia.

And she lived her healthy living message, bicycling at times to Central from her Bedford home, he said.

“She was amazing,” Russell said.

Outside of Central, Antoscia was involved with QC Bike Collective and Bike Manchester, two organizations that promote bicycling in the city.

In June, Antoscia and fellow bicyclist Kelly Catale organized group rides and a learn to bicycle event to promote Women’s Bicycling Month in Manchester.

“She was full of passion for advocating for women’s bicycling,” Catale said.

mhayward@unionleader.com


High schools Bedford Manchester


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