Three of four Secret Service agents released from hospital

By Daymond Steer

WAKEFIELD — As of Thursday afternoon, three of four Secret Service agents injured in a Tuesday night two-car crash on Route 16 had been released from the hospital following a deadly crash on Route 16 that killed an Ossipee man. Meanwhile, the man's family is trying to raise money for his burial through Go Fund Me.

bruce-danforth-jrBruce Danforth Jr., 45, is seen with granddaughter Madisyn in this 2014 Facebook picture.Emergency personnel responded to the head-on collision shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Wakefield Hill. Police said the road was slippery because of the day's accumulation of snow and ice.

The agents were members of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's protection team.

Clinton was at The Conway Daily Sun for an editorial board from 5:15 p.m. to approximately 6:30 p.m., when she left for a scheduled town hall meeting at Berlin High School.

It has not been confirmed that the agents involved in the accident had been at the Sun, but the timing of the crash suggests they were.

The Secret Service released a brief statement: "On Dec. 29, 2015, at approximately 7 p.m. four Secret Service Special agents, while on official duty in New Hampshire, were involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. They were struck by another vehicle that had crossed the double yellow lines.
 
"At this time, our personnel have sustained what is described as serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. Please join us as we keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers."

A Ford Taurus carrying the four agents had been southbound, and the Mercury Sable four-door driven by Bruce Danforth, 45, of Ossipee,  with two passengers aboard had been heading north when it crossed over double yellow lines and collided into the Taurus

Danforth's passengers — Kristina Buswell, 21, of Effingham and Natasha Meroski, 35, of Ossipee — were taken to Frisbee Memorial Hospital in Rochester and Huggins Hospital in Wakefield for initial treatment of their injuries.

It was announced Wednesday that an autopsy had been completed on Danforth but that results of blood tests would take several months.

The Secret Service agents were transported to Frisbee Memorial Hospital for initial treatment of their injuries. One was reportedly transferred to Massachusetts General in Boston, but that was not confirmed by the Secret Service on Thursday.

"All we can say is three were released and one remains hospitalized," said David A. Iacovetti, deputy assistant director for the Secret Service.

Meanwhile, Danforth's daughter, Tiffany Danforth, 25, of Center Ossipee, is seeking $2,000 for her father's funeral expenses on GoFundMe.com. As of deadline Thursday, she had raised $825. She noted that he leaves his mother, four siblings, five children and seven grandchildren, among other friends and family.

Through the GoFundMe page, a woman who identified herself as Jade, his daughter-in-law to be, responded to questions from a reporter.

"Bruce was at heart a great man," she said. "He may have had some rough patches in life but that doesn't change how much his family loved him.

"He loved his family very much. He had five children who love him and are already missing him terribly. He has six grandchildren he left behind and one grandchild that he's joined in heaven. We're heartbroken that he'll never be here to watch them grow. We know he'll be watching over us though. As his four year old granddaughter would say "he's with the Angels now."

At the time of the accident, Danforth did not have a valid driver's license and had a lengthy criminal history that included drug charges. His record also included several operating-after-suspension charges. Court records indicate probation stems from a disobeying an officer charge.

Methuen, Mass., police confirm that they arrested Danforth on a heroin possession charge on Dec. 2. Meroski, who was reportedly his girlfriend, and a Wolfeboro woman whom police identified as Jennifer Trowbridge, 28, also were charged with heroin possession.