Rollover may lead to charges

NASHUA – A local mother and daughter remain hospitalized with the daughter facing possible criminal charges following a rollover crash Sunday night that was allegedly caused when the daughter grabbed the steering wheel of the sports utility vehicle her mother was driving.

Laurel Everett, 49, suffered a broken right femur after she was thrown about 30 feet from her northbound 1999 Ford Explorer as it went into a roll on the Exit 1 on-ramp of the F.E. Everett Turnpike, State Trooper First Class John Cody of Troop B said.

She was listed in serious condition at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, where she was expected to have surgery for her injured leg, Cody said.

Everett’s 16-year-old daughter, whom Cody did not identify, suffered a head injury and remains in serious but stable condition at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, where she was transported by ambulance from St. Joseph Hospital hours after the 8 p.m. crash, he said.

Nashua emergency crews were first to arrive at the crash site. They found motorists assisting both Everett, who was lying in the middle of the road, and her daughter, who was trapped in the front passenger side of the badly damaged SUV that was sitting upright on the side of the road, Cody said.

The 16-year-old was wearing a seat belt and was trapped behind a badly damaged and jammed front passenger door, forcing fire crews to use extrication equipment to remove her from the vehicle.

All of the windows in the vehicle had been bashed out and one of the wheels had come off in the crash, as well, he said.

Everett’s 14-year-old daughter, who had been a belted backseat passenger in the SUV at the time of the crash, was not injured and was able to get out of the vehicle on her own, he said.

Both Everett and her 16-year-old daughter were conscious as emergency crews worked with them, he said.

Cody, who is investigating the crash, said he spoke with Everett on Sunday night. She told him she had been arguing with her 16-year-old daughter about the teen’s previous driving habits when her daughter grabbed the steering wheel of the vehicle and caused the crash.

He said a preliminary investigation revealed that the SUV had been traveling at about 55 mph when it hit the side of the road and went into a roll at the top of the on-ramp.

The SUV rolled three times, causing Everett, who was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, to be thrown from the vehicle during the second roll.

Cody said he had not interviewed Everett since the crash because he knew she would be heavily sedated due to her injuries, but said an investigation was ongoing to determine her daughter’s motives for grabbing the steering wheel.

“Did she reach for the steering wheel because the vehicle had drifted to the side of the road, or did she yank on it because she was upset with her mother?” he said, posing questions he would be considering.

The latter instance would result in juvenile charges of reckless conduct against the 16-year-old, Cody said.

Anyone with information about the crash can contact Cody by calling Troop B at 672-3333.