Another tragic holiday season auto accident has taken the life of a well known and highly regarded former fire chief in Amherst, New Hampshire. The accident was a hit and run accident. The driver has turned himself in to authorities, and has been arraigned on charges of negligent homicide. It appears as though this is yet another tragic case of distracted driving, with the driver admitting to have been emailing on his phone at the time he struck and killed the pedestrian. He was arraigned at the Nashua District Court on Tuesday, and has been released on bail into the custody of his parents.
On Monday afternoon, Travis Hobbs, 20, of Mont Vernon was traveling on Boston Post Road just past the intersection with Corduroy Road when he struck John Bachman, 71, and drove off. Bachman, who was at his mailbox in front of his home retrieving his mail, was knocked into a snow bank. His wife, Marilyn, discovered her husband in the snow bank at the end or their driveway and called for help. Bachman was sent to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, but before he could be transported to Massachusetts General Hospital he succumbed to his injuries.
Hobbs, who was checking email on his cell phone and thought he only hit a snow bank, later turned himself in to police. He was arrested and charged with one count of negligent homicide. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 3½ to 7 years in prison, said his attorney, Ed Cross, of the public defender’s office.
Hobbs was arraigned on the charge at Nashua District Court on Tuesday afternoon and was released on $50,000 personal recognizance and $1,000 cash only bail. Judge Michael J. Ryan also ordered Hobbs not to drive a motor vehicle, to continue to live with his parents in Mont Vernon, and to have no contact with Bachman’s family.
Bachman, a husband, father and grandfather, was a familiar face in Amherst. He served on the town’s volunteer firefighter and took the helm as chief in the early 1990s. Deputy Fire Chief Matt Conley said Bachman was “a great guy. I had a lot of admiration for him.”
Bachman was captain of one of the department’s engine companies when Conley came on board in 1986.
Bachman wasn’t paid for his role as chief, but earned a living as an entrepreneur, Conley said, founding a software company called AnaTek Corporation with his daughter, Pam McKinney of Mont Vernon, in 1991.
This blog story obtained from media sources including the Manchester Union Leader.