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Friday, October 14, 2016

Police ID victims in Nashua crash as Raymond residents

By DEAN SHALHOUP
Staff Writer

NASHUA - Police have identified the middle-aged man and woman from Raymond who died in the fiery, high-speed crash Saturday night in Nashua.

State Police trooper Melanie Locke on Thursday said the occupants of the Nissan Maxima were Paul Geden, 55, who was driving, and his passenger, Laura Sue Clifford, 46. ...

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NASHUA - Police have identified the middle-aged man and woman from Raymond who died in the fiery, high-speed crash Saturday night in Nashua.

State Police trooper Melanie Locke on Thursday said the occupants of the Nissan Maxima were Paul Geden, 55, who was driving, and his passenger, Laura Sue Clifford, 46.

Other than the likelihood that excessive speed was involved, the circumstances surrounding the crash are still under investigation, Locke said.

"Members of the CAR unit are still working on it," she said, referring to the state police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction team, which investigates serious and fatal crashes.

Autopsies have been performed on the bodies, officials said this week. The results are pending.

State and local police and Nashua firefighters were called shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday to the section of the Circumferential Highway near the Sagamore Bridge for a report of a car on fire.

Crews had to use a four-wheel-drive fire truck to access the burning vehicle, which, they later determined, left an exit ramp, went across a grass median, and struck a guardrail that launched it into the air.

The car then flew an estimated 50 yards in the air before coming down some 30-40 feet below the highway, where it rolled over several times and burst into flames next to railroad tracks just short of the Merrimack River, officials said.

As soon as crews were able to stretch a hose line to the car they were able to quickly extinguish the flames, leading to the discovery of the occupants still inside, according to a report by Nashua Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Karl Gerhard.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

Clifford, a lifelong resident of Raymond, was "an amazing woman ... a loving daughter, mother and grandmother (who) was smart, strong-willed, funny and kindhearted," according to her newspaper obituary.

A graduate of Manchester's Trinity High School, Clifford worked as a customer service representative for numerous businesses, where she was known as "a very hard worker with a glowing personality," her family wrote in the obituary.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or@Telegraph_DeanS.