Dick Devellian, 83, of Jackson was killed in a collision with an SUV while bicycling on Route 16 in Intervale on May 27. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BARTLETT — The elderly woman who police say struck and killed bicyclist Richard Devellian, 83, of Jackson with her SUV on Route 16 just north of the Intervale Scenic Vista last spring has been indicted on a charge of negligent homicide.

A Carroll County grand jury handed up the Class B felony indictment against Jean Melczarek, 88, of Bartlett in the second week of October.

The Carroll County Attorney's Office provided the Sun with the indictments on Thursday.

"Jean Melczarek negligently caused the death of Richard Devellian when she drove a 2015 Chevy Trax SUV in the breakdown lane of Route 16/302 in Bartlett and struck him from behind as he was riding a bicycle in the breakdown lane, killing him," states the indictment signed by Assistant County Attorney Thomas Palermo.

Melczarek is due to be arraigned and have a bail hearing on Oct. 29. The County Attorney's Office has proposed she be released on personal recognizance. The target date for a speedy trial is July 3, 2021.

Carroll County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Santuccio said both the SUV and the cyclist were heading south down Route 16 toward North Conway in the area of the Route 16A intersection and Smithfield Plumbing & Heating in Intervale when the incident happened on May 27 at approximately 12:28 p.m.

That part of Route 16 had recently undergone paving with a new shim coat by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, and lanes and shoulder striping had not yet taken place.

The Sun Friday asked County Attorney Michaela Andruzzi by email why her office is alleging Melczarek was in the breakdown lane when there were no road stripes at the time.

A Class B felony carries a 3 1/2 to seven-year prison sentence and a $4,000 fine.

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.”

Dick Devellian was also a philanthropist. He and Claire supported such non-profits as Upper Saco Valley Land Trust and Conway’s Majestic Theatre with 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.

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(2) comments

Bill Scott

I don't know all the facts, but enough to know this is a tragedy. As a frequent cyclist in the area, I have been honked off the road, cursed at, spit upon and generally abused for something that folks should be happy to see me doing. I am sure that the driver here is mortified, and there's not much benefit to the dead cyclist to putting her in jail.

Lesson to everyone - slow down and smell the roses. Treat driving like pilots teach flying. No drinking or texting and maybe, just maybe, obey that speed limit.

Gregory Wallace

Bill Scott, As a bicyclist myself I have to report that I have never been abused on the road by anyone, ever. Why? Because I ride facing the oncoming traffic and I stay out of everyone else's way. It is not everyone else's responsibility to look out for me, that is my responsibility regardless of any mis guided law about riding right. As everyone should know by now and because of this unfortunate incident and many. many others just like it. Not being to be able to know what is happening behind you can kill you. The fantasy about bicycles being able to ride right with traffic is broken and is going to be changed because of these deaths. Stop blaming everyone else for your refusal to place yourself in a defensive position that could save your life .No one is going to slow down or stop being old. Things happen on the road and as long as bicyclists ride right they are going to continue to be "Struck from behind." It's unnecessary.

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