Vehicle crash

CHARLESTOWN — The fatal collision on Route 12 Thursday night claimed the lives of women from Charlestown and Alstead, police have announced.

Susan Gallant, 60, of Charlestown, and Lisa Schneider, 38, of Alstead, were both pronounced dead on the scene, Charlestown police said in a news release.

Police also named James Schneider, 57, of Alstead, as the passenger who suffered serious injuries and was taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. Charlestown police did not have an update on his condition Friday afternoon, though Chief Patrick Connors told The Sentinel a few hours after the crash that he’d been conscious and talking at the hospital. Dartmouth-Hitchcock officials said Friday that Schneider was not on the list of patients for whom they’re authorized to release information.

An initial investigation determined the head-on crash occurred when Gallant, who was driving a 2006 Ford Mustang, crossed into the opposite lane while traveling north on Route 12 (Claremont Road), police said Thursday night.

Charlestown police had earlier — around 7 p.m. — received a report that the Mustang was being driven erratically and didn’t have its headlights on, the department has said. Witnesses said the car had been going into the breakdown lane on the right side of the road and then swerving into the opposite lane, according to police.

The collision with the Schneiders, who were in a 2013 Subaru Forrester, occurred a short time later near the Ponderosa Mobile Home Park off Route 12, police announced.

Charlestown police Lt. Jonathan Graham told The Sentinel Friday that investigators had not yet determined why Gallant was driving erratically. Police were still waiting for a report from the medical examiner, he said.

Route 12 reopened around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Graham, who said both vehicles were totaled.

Staff writer Molly Bolan contributed reporting.

Caleb Symons can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1420, or csymons@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @CalebSymonsKS.