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Tragic accident claims life of Wolfeboro teen

October 03, 2018
OSSIPEE — The life of Ramsie Taylor, a 17-year-old resident of Wolfeboro, was tragically cut short in an automobile collision while she on her way to school Sept. 26 at the intersection of Route 28 and 171 in Ossipee.

According to Ossipee Police, Taylor entered Route 28 from the Courthouse Square side of Route 171 when her Chevrolet Cobalt was hit on the driver's side by a dump truck driven by 61-year-old Joseph Goodrow of Alton. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Born in Spring Hill, Fla., Taylor moved to Wolfeboro 11 years ago with her parents, David and Kristin, and older sister Madison. A senior at Kingswood Regional High School, she was enrolled in the Hospitality and Marketing programs offered through the school's Lakes Region Technology Center, and was also a member of Kingswood's DECA chapter.

The obituary prepared by her family describes her as an energetic, compassionate young woman who loved with her whole heart, had an outgoing personality and a contagious smile.

"She loved to take weird selfies and talk in funny voices," the obituary notes. "She loved the beach, drinking coffee with a straw and eating ice cream with a fork. She adored her family and friends and her gecko Baby."

To read Taylor's obituary in full, turn to page A6.

A celebration of her life will be held Oct. 14 from noon to 4 p.m. at Kingswood Arts Center in Wolfeboro.

In the days following the accident, a GoFundMe page was set up for "The Taylor Family" that had raised about $5,000 as of press time. A penny sale fundraiser is being held Oct. 26 at Harley Jack's Restaurant on Route 16 in Ossipee from 4 to 7 p.m. To donate items for the event, contact Kim at 730-7827.

Taylor's death was the third fatality at the intersection of Routes 28 and 171 in just the past two years, and has re-ignited concerns over several longstanding safety issues that have frustrated local officials for years. Chief among those concerns are sight line issues caused by the grade of the road and the placement of highway signs along Route 28 which block the view of vehicles turning onto 28 from Courthouse Square, as Taylor was attempting to the morning she was killed. Statistics gathered by Ossipee Fire Chief Adam Riley confirm that his department has responded to 49 motor vehicle accidents involving a total of 132 people at the 28/171 intersection since 2009.

The state Department of Transportation brought forward a proposal last year to convert the existing intersection into a European-style roundabout. The project, which is currently in the final design phase, will be presented for public comment during a required hearing in mid-2019, after which the state plans to enter into negotiations to make some necessary land purchases from abutting property owners. With funding already secured through a federal highway safety grant, construction is slated to begin in 2020.

Two years is too long a wait, however, for Ossipee Select Board Chairman Rick Morgan, who has called for an emergency work session this evening with his fellow board members, local fire and police personnel, and the town's public works director to discuss what, if anything, can be done to prevent any further fatalities. [For more on the selectmen's response to this accident, see this week's top story on Page A1.] He acknowledged, however, that the town's options are limited, since both roads involved are owned and maintained by the state.

Offering the Taylor family heartfelt condolences on behalf of his fellow selectmen, Morgan said during a board meeting earlier this week that he is tired of the town's pleas for help falling on deaf ears in Concord, and that he wants to see action taken by the state immedately, no matter the cost.

The time of tonight's work session had not yet been determined as of our press deadline for this week's edition, but anyone interested in attending is encouraged to call Ossipee Town Hall at 539-4181.

In the meantime, Morgan suggested that area residents join the selectmen in putting pressure on the state to move up its timetable for the roundabout project by contacting their local legislators and the DOT, or by sending letters to town hall to be forwarded to officials in Concord.

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