PELHAM -- The wife of the town's fire chief was seriously injured in a two-car crash Thursday morning that was caused by another driver's failure to stop at a stop sign, police said.

Jeannette Midgley, 53, of Dracut, had to be extricated from her vehicle, a 2003 Dodge Caravan, following the collision with a 2001 Ford Expedition, occurring about 11:20 a.m. at Mammoth and Marsh roads. Jeannette Midgely is married to Fire Chief James Midgley.

According to Lt. Gary Fisher and Sgt. Anne Perriello, Midgley was driving the minivan northbound on Mammoth Road, approaching the intersection with Marsh Road, when the Expedition, operated by Nicholas Rapias, 82, of Dracut, drove through the stop sign at the end of Marsh Road and struck Midgley's van. Midgley's van was spun around on impact, with the van's rear right sliding door becoming detached and imbedded into the corner of the SUV.

Upon arrival, emergency personnel found Midgley entrapped. She was extricated with cutting tools, and transported to Southern New Hampshire Regional Medical Center.

"Mrs. Midgley suffered serious, non-life threatening injuries to her neck," Fisher reported. "Mr. Rapias walked away from the scene uninjured."

Based on the preliminary investigation and witness statements, Fisher and Periello found that "Rapias slowed down, and proceeded through the stop sign at the intersection and struck Midgley's van... Rapias was cited for a stop sign violation," the officers wrote in a press release.


Traffic on Mammoth Road was reduced to one lane for approximately 90 minutes after the crash while the Pelham Police Traffic Accident Response Team investigated.

Jeannette Midgely is married to Fire Chief James Midgley.

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