LACONIA (AP) — The former head of the New Hampshire Recreational Boaters Association was caught speeding on the interstate a day after being convicted in a boat crash that killed her best friend, authorities say.
Erica Blizzard of Laconia was cited for negligent driving March 19. Her vehicle was traveling 84 mph in a 65-mph zone on Interstate 93 in New Hampton, and she nearly struck a police officer standing on the road to slow down traffic, the police report said.
She was found guilty a day earlier of negligent homicide after crashing her speedboat into a ledge on Lake Winnipesaukee in June 2008, killing Stephanie Beaudoin of Meredith and injuring Nicole Shinopulos of Burlington, Mass.
Belknap County Attorney James Carroll wants a judge to order Blizzard not to drive at least until her sentencing in the fatal boat crash. Sentencing is set for April 26.
Carroll said Blizzard's speed was not the only element of the negligent driving citation. He said she apparently also was distracted, possibly by cell phone use. Negligent driving is a motor vehicle violation that carries a potential $1,000 fine.
Trooper Ron Taylor said he had stepped into the high-speed lane on the interstate to slow traffic. When Blizzard's car passed, she was holding a cell phone out, then she put it to her ear, Taylor said. The trooper jumped out of the way and motioned for Blizzard to pull over, the report said.
After Blizzard stopped her car, she apologized for almost hitting Taylor and said she was having trouble entering numbers on her phone, the report said.
Carroll's motion also asks a judge to review whether Blizzard should be required to post a cash bond. She is now free on a personal recognizance bond. A hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday in Belknap Superior Court.
Her lawyer, James Moir, said he was puzzled as to why the hearing was scheduled on what amounts to a motor vehicle violation.
"It's not a crime," he said. "In order to violate bail, I believe one either has to flee the jurisdiction or commit a crime. So I'm still puzzled as to why we're going."
Blizzard was convicted of negligent homicide March 18 for failure to keep a proper lookout the night of the accident. The jury deadlocked on two other alcohol-related counts. She faces up to a 7-year prison sentence.