DWI Crash Puts Girl in Surgery for Hours

By JASON SCHREIBER Union Leader Correspondent 7 hours, 49 minutes ago FREMONT – Six-year-old Cloe Adams and her grandfather, Joseph Therrien, had just finished watching a NASCAR race Sunday afternoon when they decided to enjoy the spring day by taking a ride on his motorcycle. They were riding east on Chester Road — about a mile from Therrien’s house — when police say a car heading west came around a bend and suddenly crossed into their lane. The Toyota Scion driven by Thomas F. Grenier, 47, of Epping, struck the motorcycle head-on, police said, seriously injuring Cloe, who was riding on the back with her helmet on, and her 51-year-old grandfather. As ambulance crews rushed Therrien to Exeter Hospital, a medical helicopter waited in a nearby field to fly Cloe to Boston for treatment of severe leg injuries. Police arrested Grenier on a charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. Cloe and her grandfather remained hospitalized Monday, but are expected to survive the accident that family members and police say could easily have turned deadly. “The guy was completely out of control and the only thing that stopped him was when he hit an embankment,” said Therrien’s son and Cloe’s uncle, Joe Therrien of Raymond. Cloe’s leg was broken in several spots and required 6 1/2 hours of surgery Sunday night at Children’s Hospital Boston. Her uncle said doctors had to put pins and rods in her injured leg. Her grandfather also suffered ligament and cartilage damage, but doctors at Exeter Hospital found no broken bones. “It’s going to be a long road, but they’re going to pull through,” Joe Therrien said. Cloe, who lives in Somersworth, is close to her grandparents and often spends her weekends with them in Fremont. Her grandfather picks her up after work on Friday and they enjoy their time together. Joe Therrien said there was nothing wrong with his dad taking the 6-year-old out for a short motorcycle ride around the block. “It’s not like they were on the highway or anything. They were going 25 mph on a back road,” he said, adding that Cloe could have been hit and injured “if she was just riding her bicycle.” Police Chief Neal Janvrin agreed that injuries would have occurred no matter who was riding on the motorcycle. “It was a bonding experience. It was a kid out with her grandfather, minding their own business, and unfortunately a drunk driver hits them,” Janvrin said. “I don’t care if the person was 6, 16, or 60; the person on the back of the bike would have been hurt. The ultimate responsibility (lies) with the driver of the car.” Grenier, who could not be reached for comment Monday, was released on $2,500 bail and is due in Exeter District Court on June 1.

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