NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

September 26, 2013

'I didn't see any tears rolling down her face'

Victim's friend blasts teen driver

By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer

---- — SEABROOK — A longtime friend of Elise Bouchard, the Danvers woman killed Saturday when a car driven by 19-year-old Darriean Hess of Seabrook slammed into her, said he would be attending all her future court appearances as a way of honoring the memory of someone dear to him and his wife.

Hess was arraigned yesterday morning via video at Seabrook Circuit Court and is being held on $50,000 cash or bond pending a probable cause hearing scheduled for Oct. 9. She was charged with two felony counts of negligent homicide and two felony counts of second degree assault for allegedly killing Bouchard, Pamela Wells of South Hamilton and injuring two others, Margo Heigh of Danvers and Uwe Uhmeyer of Essex. Additional charges may be filed as it was discovered Hess was driving without a license.

Speaking to reporters outside Seabrook Circuit Court minutes after Hess was arraigned, Gordon Wiley of Danvers said he was pleased that circuit court Judge Mark Weaver decided to hold her on high bail.

“I wanted to make sure she stays where she is,” Wiley said.

Wiley was less pleased with the discovery that Hess had been stopped for speeding near the crash site less than eight hours before the fatal crash. During the traffic stop, near the Underwood Memorial Bridge, police also learned she had been driving without a license. But instead of arresting her, police allowed her to leave with a friend who drove the car away.

“It’s ridiculous,” Wiley said.

Attempts by her public defender Tony Naro to plead for a lesser bail saying Hess didn’t have a criminal record and was “absolutely grief stricken,” also didn’t sit well with Wiley who was heard mumbling to himself during the arraignment. During his brief interview with reporters, Wiley said he wasn’t moved by her attorney’s attempts to tamp down Hess’s culpability and feelings of remorse.

“I didn’t see any tears rolling down her face. She just wants to get out,” Wiley said.

Wiley described the relationship between his wife, Pam, and Bouchard as very close and said Bouchard had inspired Pam Wiley to take up bicycling.

“She’s devastated by this,” Wiley said.

Bouchard, Wells, Heigh and Uhmeyer were taking part in the annual GSW Seacoast Century ride, this year celebrating its 40th anniversary. Almost 1200 bicyclists took part in this year’s event. Hours after Hess’ arraignment, GSW Seacoast Century coordinators Dave Topham and Bob Koehler released a statement:

“Needless to say, the entire bicycling community is shocked by such a horrific and needless crash caused by a motorist who should never have been driving... our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, families, and friends of all concerned,” the statement reads.