BARTLETT — The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday released the names of the two people involved in the fatal accident that took place Wednesday on Route 16 just north of the Intervale Scenic Vista.
Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Santuccio said that both bicyclist Richard Devellian, 83, of Jackson and Jean Melczarek, 87, of Bartlett, who was driving a Chevrolet SUV, were heading south in the area of Route 16A and Smithfield Plumbing & Heating in Intervale when the collision happened at about 12:30 p.m.
The Sheriff’s Office and New Hampshire State Police are in charge of investigating the incident, according to Santuccio and Lt. Jim Fogarty of State Police Troop E.
Asked about possible charges, Santuccio said the case is still under investigation.
“I don’t think the decision by the County Attorney’s (Office) is too far away,” said Santuccio, adding he guesses that could happen within a month.
Devellian along with wife, Claire, were well-known in the tight-knit Jackson community.
He took part in Jackson’s annual Invitational Snow-Sculpting Competition at Black Mountain Ski Area. He also was as an avid cyclist who took tango dance lessons at the North Conway Community Center a decade or so ago.
“Dick was quite a cycling figure in the valley,” said Sally McMurdo, the Sun’s weekly Wheel Family Fun columnist.
“I believe he started the Velo Club with a few others, which later became the MWV Bicycling Club. I know he also helped organize and rode in the Mount Washington Bicycle Hillclimb, too. Such a shame — he was a great guy and an asset to the Jackson community and to valley cycling.”
Richard Devellian was also a philanthropist. He and Claire supported such non-profits as Upper Saco Valley Land Trust and Conway’s Majestic Theatre with generous donations.
Melczarek is also well-known in the valley. She co-founded the Red Parka Pub in Glen in 1972 with then husband Dewey Mark and Lois Nelson (now Lois Hatch) and her then-husband Al Nelson.
She is a painter and had a show at the Met Coffeehouse in January.
The area of Route 16 where the accident occurred was recently paved with a new shim coat by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, and lane and shoulder striping had not yet taken place, though NH DOT road construction crews were back in the area on Thursday.
According to authorities, Devellian was struck from behind and apparently died of his injuries, although that is under investigation to rule out other causes such as a medical condition.
Following the incident, Melczarek was taken to the hospital.
Her condition is not known.
State police were called in to reconstruct the accident, shutting down Route 16. Also on scene were Bartlett Fire Department and Conway police, who rerouted traffic onto the southern intersection of Route 16A for hours after the collision.
Local citizen Dave Mandel said he was riding his own bike in front of Citizens Bank in North Conway when an acquaintance flagged him down with the news.
“He told me they were doing CPR and it looked really bad,” said Mandel. “So I continued on my bike to the scene.”
Mandel said that, upon arriving at the scene, “the ambulance was leaving, and it seemed in no rush to get to the hospital.”
Anyone who witnessed the accident is encouraged to call Sheriff’s Cpl. Brittany Perley at (603) 539-2284.
Reporter Tom Eastman and Managing Editor Margaret McKenzie contributed to this article.